Inevitable disappointment has resulted following the news that Victoria Beckham cancelled the showcase for her sister line Victoria, Victoria Beckham and L’Wren Scott has announced that she too will be unable to show at London next week, sparking understandable debate over the pressures of adhering to the rigid timetabling of Fashion Week.
I wouldn’t consider a cancellation unprofessional – at most, it’s a missed opportunity to engage in the ‘trade conference’ that Fashion Week boils down to: drawing in big buyers and press.
More vital to consider is the current question of its place in the modern calendar – trends passed down months in advance combined with collections dropping in stores a season ahead of the weather is a common problem we’re all begrudgingly familiar with. As Imran Ahmed – founder of Business of Fashion – aptly comments in Papermag this week, the ‘operational cycle is completely out of sync with the communication cycle of fashion, which happens instantaneously.’ This is probably the biggest drawback of cancellations; as we’ve grown accustom to the rapid relaying of information from ‘the inside’ back to the wider masses largely down to the speedy development of technology and growing industry presence on social media, essential content is unavailable for journalists, bloggers and those of us who just love a piece of action.
I wouldn’t consider a cancellation unprofessional – at most, it’s a missed opportunity to engage in the ‘trade conference’ that Fashion Week boils down to: drawing in big buyers and press. But realistically, it’s the smaller shows that risk more in absence and it’s unlikely that Beckham or Scott have irreparably lost a share of the season completely. Though innovations in the industry are slow to take up, there are early signs that ‘showing’ could be feasible via other mediums. Tamara Mellon opts for an intimate showroom and creates monthly drops, looking past the notion of ‘the season’. The CFDA also announced this year as part of their new 4-part strategy an overhaul of NYFW, quietly indicating that the current system has yet to reach potential efficiency for both designers and attendees.
We’ll be keeping a look out online over the coming weeks for Scott’s social media showcase and over the coming seasons to see what time holds for Fashion Week’s future in an increasingly demanding and digital age.