The Front Row
Ac.Stet once wrote in this same blog, that the fashion industry is the most old-fashion thing in fashion.
The strongest argument for this comes from the most prized piece of real-estate during Fashion Week (doesn’t matter which city, or which show): the Front Row. Why is it that editors and wannabes and hanger-ons want to be seated in the front row for a show that is simulcast on the Internet on sites like Elle.com, Style and so on?
It doesn’t make much sense to Ac.Stet. Lest you think Ac.Stet will willingly throw his principles aside once offered to be seated front, Ac.Stet will have you believe that at various shows, he has oft given up his seats to some Japanese reporters acting the distress damsel part. Why? Well, Ac.Stet prefers to stand with his friends really, who wasn’t given tickets. Besides, you don’t really need to be in the Front Row. Or seated, for that matter. Anyway, while you are standing, you see the shoes and head-dresses better, and from afar, you see the silhouettes much clearer.
But of course, Ac.Stet knows it’s all about the Ego.
Front Row means you have made it, is accepted by the Establishment and because by way of being able to have the best view of the clothes freshly-minted, these Front Rowers are obliged to write the best reviews of the clothes in order that the PR from these companies continue to seat them in the Front Row, thus securing their “Front Row status” for seasons to come.
‘ai mean, have you read Fashion Week Daily’s review of Proenza Schouler (notoriously difficult to garner an invite) at their recent Spring 2008 show? The writer said things like “the boys (Lazaro Hernendez and Jack McCollough) [were] soaring quickly towards fashion’s apex”.
(This is the write-up from Fashion Week Daily:
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2008
Friday, September 07, 2007
(NEW YORK) Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, the boys soaring quickly towards fashion’s apex, proved that they’re all grown up this season. Known for well-crafted dresses and a penchant for geometric prints, they toughened up on silhouettes while refining the range of fabrics for Spring 2008. Aiming to contrast “something organic and primitive” with polished looks, the designers layered short silk skirts and organza dresses with hemp linen vests and waistcoats topped with ornate cavalry hats made by milliner Albertus Swanepoel. Art influences usually show in the brand’s use of prints, which featured less prominently in their spring collection but popped up on a few embroidered indigo linen jackets and zebra patterns on dresses. The colors reflected the collection’s tribal mood with shades of grey, black, and earthy green. The maturity of the collection was evidenced throughout and was particularly apparent towards the end of the show with a series of very sophisticated gold leafed belted dresses. The duo continue to please both critics and buyers and show that they can be fashion’s bright young things and still stay true to their colors.””
Some of the things that particular reviewer says really left Ac.Stet to scratch his head (after briefly removing his acrylic stetson, of course):
1. “they toughened up on silhouettes … “:
===> Er, how do you toughen up on silhouettes? There were no elaborations. And don’t bullshit Ac.Stet about people either being able to get it or not. Ac.Stet has been in fashion for years, and this is definitely an Emperor’s-New-Clothes situation here.
2. “… while refining the range of fabrics for Spring 2008.”:
===> Hmmm, you mean to say, you can tell just by looking that the fabric range has been refined? Anyway, the whole sentence doesn’t make sense.
3. “Art influences usually show in the brand’s use of prints, which featured less prominently in their spring collection but popped up on a few embroidered indigo linen jackets and zebra patterns on dresses”.
===> I see, I see … so art means slapping on some embroidery and zebra prints.
4. “The maturity of the collection was evidenced throughout and was particularly apparent towards the end of the show with a series of very sophisticated gold leafed belted dresses.”
===> Wow, one can actually witness maturity within the brevity of a catwalk show in a matter of minutes.
5. “The duo continue to please both critics and buyers and show that they can be fashion’s bright young things and still stay true to their colors.”
===> Oh my gooodness, that’s really alot of different hats to wear, eh? Not just (a) pleasing critics, (b) pleasing buyers, (c) showing they are fashion’s bright young things, (d) still stay true to their colors, but also (e) having partridges in the pear tree.
For lack of a better explanation, has this writer from Fashion Week Daily been er, sharing too many rounds of midnight tea with the Proenza boys?
Don’t get Ac.Stet wrong. Ac.Stet lurves Proenza Schouler and has supported them since their graduation from Parsons and that first WWD cover they garnered. But such hot-air used to evaluate their works is not going to do the designers any good. Where’s da beef? Where’s the critique? Where’s the light on the directions Proenza Schouler is doing for this next 6 months?
But Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the state of fashion journalism these days: Fawning, vacant, flat and childish. Ac.Stet challenges you to perform a simple experiment: take this runway review and cut-and-paste to any other designer’s Spring 2008 collection – Oscar dee laa r, Michael Kors, Bill Blass, Behnaz Sarafpour, you name it. Ac.Stet can quite guarantee you, it can fit and go almost everywhere and nowhere.
And worse, at the end of the day, you realize you learnt nothing. And wasted rubbish loads of time reading such junk.
Are there not writing tests for fashion journalists these days?