A few weeks ago Givenchy stated it was going to suspend its Haute Couture line and would not show during the Paris schedule in January 2013, then Cacharel cancelled its Paris Fashion Week catwalk presentation.
Yesterday, as the media announced that porcelain maker Richard Ginori 1735 had been declared bankrupt by an Italian court (fashion fans may remember how in 2010 Giles held a presentation at the company's Sesto Fiorentino factory during the Pitti trade show), somewhere else in London Meadham Kirchhoff showcased one of those incoherently hip menswear collections (that in London are usually hailed as the product of highly creative minds) in a slightly depressing atmosphere with models surrounded by garbage bags, symbolising the act of throwing away all the bad stuff that happened in the design duo's life last year.
Interestingly enough, while dark and melancholic moods are maybe here to stay as projections, forecasts and a consistently unstable economy are definitely not pointing towards a sparkling 2013, and despite there are clear symptoms of crisis, fashion still proves to be an industry in denial since it is still pretending that everything is more or less fine (the old tactic to convince consumers to spend - but we all know that a proper investigation on specific expenses at most fashion weeks, trade fairs and other assorted events would reveal something else...). While fashion is an industry prone to lying, you wish that some kind of commentary would at least come from the designers (and not from bland collections and superficial presentations).
In the Met Museum archive there is for example a blouse with a matching bag from the '40s designed by Schiaparelli with prints of rationed items and numbers of coupons required for each apparel article that perfectly tells the story of wartime rationing.
You wonder what will be showcased in museums in sixty years' time that will tell the story of these bleak years of financial crisis and confusion.
In the last 8 years or so the only social commentary in textiles came via Timorous Beasties' Toile de Jouy with those Glaswegian neds and juvenile delinquents in tracksuits shooting up, drinking or peeing in parks (View this photo), an idea widely copied in arts and fashion and reapplied to other cities as well, with Sibling making a version of Timorous Beasties' London toile for their S/S 13 menswear collection (View this photo).
There may be no war or rationing out there, but you often find yourself hoping designers would be a little bit more outspoken and controversial in their work.
Since wishing the fashion industry would lie less and be more honest with consumers is practically useless, hoping designers could come up with proper anti-crisis wardrobes that could also be employed as a social critique is probably a more plausible option.Member of the Boxxet Network of Blogs, Videos and Photos
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