It seems as though the fashion world may have shot itself in the foot through its commitment to instant internet access, whether it be through online discussion or instantly posted photos and videos.
In a recent article for the New York Times, fashion and style reporter Vanessa Friedman ruminated on the outcomes of the recently concluded 2016 fashion month (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/13/fashion/fashion-week-kim-kardashian-marc-jacobs-social-media.html?_r=0) . The high-end shows, displaying the items that international fashion houses expect to see trending in Spring 2017, went off smoothly enough. The problem was the ensuing confusion and erratic behavior that seemed to be the result of too much instant internet coverage.
Take the brightly colored yarn dreadlocks seen on Marc Jacobs’ models, which almost instantly provoked a storm of Twitter and Instagram attacks on the designer for what was seen as cultural appropriation. No one seemed to interpret the dreadlocks in the aesthetic context of the show: the fashion world came off looking irresponsible and elitist.
The incident involving model Gigi Hadid at this year’s Milan show brings up similar issues. An independent journalist addicted to posting his escapades on Instagram grabbed and fondled Ms Hadid as she was leaving the show, then reveled in the loads of posts on the internet criticizing his unseemly actions.
And would Kim Kardashian West have been robbed of her jewelry at her hotel immediately following the Paris fashion week if she hadn’t been posting non-stop about her jewels and her own activities at the time?
According to Ms. Friedman’s New York Times article, the internet has facilitated far too much transparency in the fashion world. Because it’s now possible to provide instant access to the latest product by posting photos on any number of internet sites, consumers have become more demanding and the fashion industry has rushed in to meet that demand.
The problem is, once substance has been displayed, with what else can viewers be provided? Fashion’s elegant elitism is being threatened by the constant flood of meaningless and trite content. Those in whose care the latest fashion trends lie need to become much more selective and discriminating in what they post on the internet.