Alexander Fury: Is there really a reason for us to keep talking fashion ‘seasons’?

The impression was an aesthetic seasonal affective disorder

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Indy Lifestyle Online

In the midst of fashion season, you find yourself pondering existential questions. Why are we here? (usually during an especially heinous show); what does it all mean? (usually during a Comme des Garçons show); when will it end? (usually during any show at the tail end of Paris, no matter how good or bad).

Thus far, my mind has been consumed with the concepts of seasons. Namely, how pointless they all seem today. New York last week was alternatively sweltering and pouring; London is freezing (as is the city’s wont); Milan promises sun; Paris in September could sizzle or drizzle.

That’s weather via the circuitous fashion junket, but the wealthy clients that houses hanker after lead equally peripatetic lives. The importance of China’s luxury market is bolstered even further by the fact that the Chinese are the world’s biggest tourists.

Globalisation in fashion doesn’t just mean enormous conglomerates leveraging designers as a hot commodity. It also talks about those designers leveraging themselves and their products to ever wider numbers of people. Rather than designers dictating Eurocentric looks, fashion is increasingly, incredibly, aware of the emerging and established markets further afield. Think of the southern hemisphere, or of the importance of the Middle East.

Then think of how designers have generally eschewed heavyweight tailoring in anything other than sweeping coats, easily shrugged off on to the shoulder if it gets too hot. For winter, Dior showed sleeveless tailoring more suitable to summer, Miuccia Prada transparent dresses – granted, she slung overcoats on top of many. But the overarching impression was an aesthetic version of seasonal affective disorder.

Already, something similar has begun: Proenza Schouler and Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein showed collections swathed in leather. Granted, Proenza’s was tissue-fine and pin-pricked with perforations – Jack Mccollogh and Lazaro Hernandez told me they wanted it to look like nylon rather than skin – but there’s still something perversely impractical about showing it for summer.

But isn’t that what fashion’s all about?

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