Scrolling our way through NYFW SS18
One of the most viral happenings this NYFW was neither A Wang’s star-studded warehouse debauchery, nor Gigi Hadid’s lost shoe, but the startling – albeit spot on – Fashion Week interview of Jim Carrey.
Live from the Harper’s Bazaar Icon’s party, E! News’ Catt Sadler asked the Tom Ford-clad Carrey a series of standard questions, which catalyzed an existential tirade on the futility of fashion. “There is no meaning to any of this. This is the most meaningless thing I could come to. You’ve got to admit it’s completely meaningless,” he deadpans. While some could argue that that the litany of models, public figures and social media sensations in attendance are no cultural patron à la Pierre Bergé – may he rest in peace – that’s not to say fashion doesn’t matter? Though most sites riffed on Carrey’s rant with sarcasm, laughter and pity, there is a palpable air of apathy infiltrating the fashion system.
If only the countless industry outsiders digesting FROWer’s IG stories ad nauseum could see the faces behind the screens – jaded, burnt out, unimpressed. As I swoon over a jaw-dropping flurry of feathers and crystals catwalking before my eyes, the major editor sitting across the aisle doesn’t even bat an eyelash. She films it through her phone while flicking the sequins of her Prada skirt, sans a single glance at the runway look itself. The next day an equally noteworthy happening occurs; a prominent blogger brought a 4 person camera crew as her plus one – documenting her every heel step from cab to curb to chair. And you wonder why Menkes called fashion a circus? By the time a FROWer has left her seat, been snapped by a sea of photogs and found her driver, the presentation’s been circled all over the gram, enabling the whole world to catch up while she’s en route to the next one. Gone are the days of poring over magazines and pining to see, feel, and wear a designer’s vision. Today marks an age where one can see it now, buy it now and wear it – if you tag me – now.
It’s not that the glamour has been overshadowed by gloom. On the contrary, the runways were more glittering, spangled and embellished than ever. The fashpack is still gaga for Gucci, and the future is still female. Badgalriri launched her all-inclusive Fenty Beauty line the day before her motocross themed Puma show, and Giovanna’s book + t-shirt sold out within two days. One of @bat_gio’s shirts declaring, “Being cool is a bore, being fun is glamore,” could ring true throughout the system. If fashion was more fun, perhaps people would get off their phones and give a damn.
The industry is putting its trillion-dollar future in the youth – as confirmed by BoF’s millennial laden #B0F500 roster for 2017 – and old-school designers should take note. With the exception of Shayne Oliver’s highly anticipated Helmut debut, Eckhaus Latta, Chromat and the trailblazing spirit of the Gen-Z designers, the optimistic, inventive energy that reigned the post-election FW17 collections has dissipated. This season was business as usual, with influencers, celebrity spawn – enter, Kaia Gerber – and disenchanted editors being the center of attention.
Many of the city’s core brands abandoned the Big Apple for Paris, but others are proving to be the saving graces of NYFW. Raf Simon’s venerated reimaging of Calvin Klein has given Americana sportswear an overdue injection of glamorous vitality. And the unapologetically political Prabal Gurung invited Gloria Steinheim as his guest of honor, sending the body positive Ashley Graham and androgynous arbiter Anreja Peijic down his inclusivity-pushing runway. He’s using his sartorial platform to affect change, opening his show with the statement, “Grant me the strength to change the things I cannot accept.”
Fashion may not be meaningless Mr. Carrey, but it definitely needs its mojo back.