Patience. Remember that virtue?
After reading Stephanie Clifford’s article in the NYT’s yesterday, it’s as if a lighting bolt had struck and I realized how entirely the fashion experience has changed because of the internet. Maybe, I hadn’t clearly understood it all before. From how we wear it, buy it and view it, online has put fashion (and almost every other industry) back in the hands of the consumers. And this is a good thing, consumers decide what they want to wear not buyers.
As the new era of streaming runway shows online dawns, labels are dissecting viewers responses as they watch the show via the small screen. Timing tweets when a look emerges or noting when a viewer closed the link and assuming they got bored. From here they are dissecting what’s a hit and what was a miss.
Getting inside a consumer’s brain is all dandy and an age old trick on how to sell more. But a new question arises from the streaming runway extravaganza, one from this month’s T Magazine’s article The Circus of Fashion, “If fashion is for everyone, is it fashion?”
But the NYT’s article ends with a quote from Chris Morton, founder of Lyst, a social-shopping site that allows people to track runway items and alerts them when a product becomes available. “With live blogging from the runway, and Style.com and sites like us showing images straight-away, all that is setting expectations,” he said, adding that consumers are asking, “‘Why should I have to wait?'”
Yikes!. That’s the excitement. You see a look on the runway and it grows on you–like vines on a brownstone or a good wine–it needs time to develop. And for a look, by the next season you can’t wait to wear it. Like making a Christmas list, you know what’s on it but the anticipation is half the thrill.
I get it, in with the new. But if we are so caught up in the new, what sticks and what becomes meaningful? (It’s like tweeting during a Girls episode about how Marni’s acting like a flaky friend. But if we only see the surface can we understand the deeper meaning of a friendship drifting apart because of false realities?) Where is the line drawn between developing and enveloping?
A runway look will be on the racks in seven to eight months and you can get it then. Let it grow. Let’s not be such slaves to fashion that we’ve lost our sense of waiting for the good things.
We can do that can’t we? wait? just a little?