For designers, Fashion Week allows collections to be shown with all the glory of models, hair, makeup, set design, music, lighting, and an audience with purchasing and publicity power. Although there’s an underlining sense that this is a preview of upcoming ranges, it is not necessary that everything shown will go into production.
For some, the event is there to keep a label’s followers attentive, even if this is done with a helping of anarchy. Stolen Girlfriends Club’s fanciful ‘wedding’ was unexpected drama – as was their display of an in-house designed fabric printed with an uneasy mix of hydrangeas and cigarette butts. Memorable, also, have been a number of exhibitions both ‘main venue’ as well as ‘off-site’ which have sparked acclaim by their high standard of vision and execution.
Starfish have used the event to preview fabrics which had a back-story of eco-friendliness which was anything but lip-service. Kathryn Wilson was the first show devoted to footwear with a runway set up at eye level. And the spirit of the Miromoda showcase for designers of Maori descent focused the international media.
For media, Fashion Week is nothing short of compelling. Through broadcast TV, a huge audience shares in the reporting of ‘behind the scenes’ where crews record, say, such details as the placing of sparkling diamonds on a model’s face with tweezers. We are given glimpses of the organisation of stylists as they ensure the designer’s visions are crisply presented. TV also knows it has an audience for the big stories like Pamela Anderson’s steamy sarong-twirling presentation, or the visit of America’s Next Top Model winner Krista White – many of her winning assignments having been shot in New Zealand.And broadcast TV is no parochial endeavour, as film crews from many different countries arrive to cover events for show on station from Tokyo to New York.
Photos courtesy Sam Lee