Perhaps I have been raised up in an old school way. My parents taught me to be patient, deserving and to wait for things I could dream of owning. These days, things are quite different. No need to be patient & deserving. If you want something you can have it right away without waiting a month, a year etc... you just have to own the money so you can grab these precious things, catch them like some crazy (and quite scary tbh) Pokemon Go addicts: catch them all now before everyone else! Because if you don't, someone will do it instead of you. Actually it's like the famous saying: "when the meal is ready, you have to eat it while it's still hot". The fashion industry seems to love this proverb since more and more fashion labels are tempted by what everyone calls the see-now and buy-now (**pronounced it in a dramatic way**)! People who are behind this would be genius idea to somehow save the system are not those making the clothes, those spending long hours to imagine the clothes, to think them, to design them... They are the ones who simply know how to make juicy money. We are living in a period of uncertainties at every level, weather ones too; Summer looks like Autumn, Christmas looks like a sweet springtime day. Everything is no longer what it seems. Life is more than ever a difficult ride when you can die of a terrorist attack as "easily" as you may be hit by a car so Carpe Diem. So in order to feel alive and to enjoy all the greatest life's benefits, people drink, eat, work and buy as fast as they can. That's how I feel about working in this fast-fashion industry (Caution: This is an official coming out! I do work for Fast Fashion!) where people do not take time anymore to make things in the right way and to deliver the clothes in the good conditions!
I don't necessarily think that all these garments being available on e-shops right after their presentation is a good thing. Who really needs to grab them now? There's something wrong when clothes can be produced as fast as the speed of a bullet train. It takes time to make beautiful clothes, to let all the magic happen. All these buy-me-now things don't have that kind of magic, that kind of mystery. This industry is suffering from an obvious lack of ideas and also because it is considering that consumers don't want to dream anymore, they only need to satisfy their basic instincts! Of course, some designers can make stunning see-now buy-now clothes but not everybody is J.W. Anderson. Pulling out a good idea per day is only for the gifted ones! Nowadays, there are too many clothes available and too many of them are looking just like last season or are just bad copies of previous "creations". If you are inspired by someone's work, your design must be way better than the original. Otherwise, what's the point? If you want to remain relevant in the fashion industry you have to try hard to bring the excitement collection after collection! And sorry but collaborating with a famous face or a super influential instagirl won't lead you very far (at least in terms of creativity & legitimacy).
Here, it's more about owning clothes that will make you feel like a virgin, touched for the very first time than eating while it's still hot. But it's all the same at the end of the day. As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to fashion I don't want to be bored! Sometimes, I do regret the times of innocence when catwalks looked like clubs. Sorry but I must really be from the old school because I don't like how people are consuming fashion! Luxury could not beat down big retailers like Zara because they simply do not play with the same weapons! Trying the See Now Buy Now won't give them a more efficient way of fighting all these merciless retailers. Making High Fashion more accessible can be a good thing but the biggest risk here is making it cheaper & less prestigious.
Nowadays, the young designers who want their names to be on everyone's lips are clearly doing the show, bringing back a certain form of excitement.They may not have made a name for themselves yet but the clothes, their creations are doing the talking for them. Here, the only weapon they have is their creativity! The not so underground VFILES platform keeps on pushing the dialogue between these young talents & Fashion, showcasing highly creative designers who have a radical vision, disrupting the system in an entertaining catwalk full of emotions. At least, these designers are delivering collections that are not perfect but that are demonstrating innovation, uniqueness and personality; in a way, the fuel of this whole industry. This is my credo. As long as there will be newcomers who are lighting people's fire, putting them upside down, making them question everything (beauty? gender? life?), this industry will go in the right direction!
GROUND ZERO is one of the coolest brands I know and it's clearly a shame that I still haven't written anything about them. The Shu Brothers have created something that overcomes the mere idea of what is cool, subverting clothes we all already know, giving them a radical graphic vision. Their Spring Summer 2017 collection is playing with the aesthetics of kawai, manga, streetwear, pushing them to their limits to eventually come up with a brand new silhouette!
RUSHEMY BOTTER who graduated from the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts has nothing to fear from his background predecessors. His spring summer 2017 wardrobe is the wardrobe of the impossible, re-inventing and cutting pieces in an absolutely irreverent way! He seems to fear nothing, creating without any inhibition, delivering clothes embodying his free spirit! I love how extreme these pieces are! One can truly feel the passion he is putting into his creations!
ALESSANDRO TRINCONE is creating pieces full of emotion because he is a genuine storyteller! "Being raised in a socially rough environment, it has been a challenging issue to express myself" he told the Not Just A Label website. His creations have to deal with his past & present connected with his experience living in Japan. His Spring Summer 2017 collection called ANNODAMI is the result of all these experiences. He believes there are no boundaries between men and women and his garments are expressing his personal definition of beauty.
SONG SEOYOON is definitely putting clothes on a pedestal! Her SS17 collection looks like a deconstructed wardrobe coming back from dry cleaning; a kind of mise en abyme of the clothes we are wearing everyday, symbolizing the identity of the wearer, letting him/her explore his/her own self. She is twisting and playing with staples of everyone's wardrobe and the result is an intriguing silhouette that leaves you speechless.
SANCHEZ KANE is making fashion with a lot of fantasy & humor mixing it with her Mexican roots and her very own emotional chaos. She is designing clothes for real heroes knowing no inhibition; a badass creature who enjoys to be wrapped in fearless clothes inspired by the art of advertisement! It's a ballsy wardrobe used as a weapon of language & communication. Each and every piece embodies a message. This Spring Summer 2017 collection is all about statements assumed by the designer. "As I said we just want equality, so let's MAKE AMERICA GAY AGAIN", she told VFiles.
All these backstage pictures are from Lillie Eigier for Dazed Digital
Words by Yann Sackville-West