Some years back, I had a paradigm-shift in the world of fashion. I grew up buying and wearing the menswear ready-to-wear designers like Calvin Klein, Nautica, Ocean Pacific, Jantzen, Perry Ellis, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and many more. Fashion to me was about “what I would wear” or other consumers like me would wear. I could walk through Dillard’s in 1988 and identify what would be great sellers and what would be left on the rack at the end of the season.
Fashion shows, while interesting, did not make sense to me. Much of the “craziness” on the runway was not anything I would see walking down my streets. When my mind began to shift, looking to fashion as the way to identify art, trends and more, it began to make a lot more sense to me. It was about the creativity and the forecasting more than the practical buyer.
After I went to Fashion Week in New York City, my eyes were opened to the drama and the excitement (along with the Soap Opera, Bold and Beautiful — but that’s all I plan to say about that)!
I think often of Miranda Priestly’s wonderful tirade in The Devil Wears Prada, “‘This… stuff’? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”
And suddenly it all makes sense and has purpose.