Why you should care what Anna likes

The recent conclusion of ‘Fashion Week’ probably does not mean much for the average University student. For those who might not be aware, ‘Fashion Week’[s] are designated weeks in which fashion capitals around the world play host to the biggest worldwide luxury fashion houses which preview their collections for the upcoming seasons. This happens biannually, typically in February and March for the Autumn/ Winter collections and in October and November for the Spring/ Summer collections.

The seeming mismatch between the months in which they are held and the appropriateness of the collection’s targeted season is deliberate; such events are meant to garner publicity and reviews from multiple platforms to increase the pool of potential buyers for when the items are eventually available for sale. The most prestigious of these locations are: New York, London, Milan, and Paris, stated in order of when they take place.

The idea of fashion shows triggers a diverse range of reactions and connotations depending very much on whom you are addressing. Generally, there is a significant stigma consisting of exclusivity and privilege attached to it, which arguably is not an entirely unfair view. Accessibility to such pieces is hindered for a host of reasons, the most obvious being the price tags attached to such luxury designs. It is unfortunate that the nature of our modern world is such that whether explicit or implicit, the material costs (pun intended) of products, including fashion pieces, can so severely restrict the audience.

But why does this matter, you might wonder. Is there really a need to bring so-called ‘high fashion’ to the masses? Surely, the only people who are losing out here are the fashion houses on product sales. However, I beg to differ. There is no denying that these luxury houses are nests for the most creative and visionary fashion minds. This is not to say that talent is not found elsewhere, as is shown in the case of Jacquemus (Q&A article with the designer can be found here).

Since making his big break, his collections now have runway slots on Fashion Week (have a look at his latest Spring/Summer 16 Ready-to-Wear collection here). It seems impossible for the greatest fashion minds to avoid the lure of the big-name houses and similarly unavoidable that the houses snap up these talents. Yet, none of the reasons above should deter you from scanning through the shows. The only reason you might be unwilling to do so would be if your sole motivation was to purchase the pieces. If, on the other hand, it is to gain inspiration and a bit of fashion education, then look no further.

The runway can be your fashion holy grail. First, it is an eclectic and extremely diverse platform. The sheer volume of designers who show their collections means that you can constantly be surprised and inspired by something different and unique. Secondly, these shows generally bend the conventional rules of fashion – this season, there was the ‘tiaras & wellies’ combination – it is a great way of reminding yourself that fashion has no boundaries; as long as you are willing to be confident and wear an outfit, you should.

Finally, it can help you ‘find your style’. There is nothing wrong with wanting to copy certain looks that interest you. In fact, it is in wanting to emulate certain looks, which has led to the prevalence of subcultures we find scattered throughout the world today (a fantastic piece on the Glam Rock subculture can be found here.) If you want to be en pointe with the latest runway trends, then I am sure you already keep up to date with the fashion shows, but if you have never quite found a style that you identify with, there are high chances you will once you start looking at fashion shows.

Whether or not you are a supporter or a sceptic, challenge yourself and give it a try. All you have to do is click right here and you will find all the latest shows and pieces. Fashion is about so many things, including keeping an open mind, being bold, and taking chances. Here is a chance for you to tick the boxes for all three!

Claire Elizabeth Seah

Image Credits: Flickr/ Francisco Huguenin Uhlfelder


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