The last few days, majority of us media hounds have frequented Viaducts Events Centre for the infamous NZFW. I needn’t tell you though – it’s been everywhere. To an audience of international buyers as well as to the fashionably-swayed of the public (whether socially, stylishly or both), a range of both renowned and upcoming designers have showcased the best of their coming Spring collections.
For someone like me, this is exciting. The art of dressing everyday is one in which, for the most part, I take very seriously. I believe in its capacity for great things, these that far surpass just the way I, as a single girl, can be made to feel. Fashion is empowering. It is blunt. It is meaningful. It is meaningful even for those who wish it were not so. You should blame only, the very visual foundation on which our minds do operate.
So much as you may say that Fashion Week does not impact you, that perhaps you do not desire to involve yourself, I’d stand as one of the many to confront you. Girl, have you not seen The Devil Wears Prada? You have missed more than Meryl Streep’s prime, but some note-worthy lessons. The first is this: that all those who think they can or have indeed succeeded to exempt themselves are naive to believe such could be the case. That you may pick up a replica in Glassons is of little difference to endorsing a jacket’s first appearance on the runway.
The truth is, even the piece you thought was throw-away, exempt from the industry and its binds, is positioned directly amongst it. There is a reason for sale piles and their contents. There is also a reason you shall find yourself still interested. It is the industry and its cyclical nature, of which you – and I as well – are mere pawns.
To attempt to fight this fateful truth is pointless. It’s like trying to escape capitalism in a capitalist state. It decides the way you live, and for you have known no other way for so long, it is likely you shan’t digress.
So to return to the point, why do all these Spring collections matter to you? Yes, to you, of all people, the one in the back shouting “boo” and laughing at such flouncy skirts and outrageous prints. These matter to you not solely for someone has slaved hours in their making. Because models have or have not starved themselves thin – and faced backlash for their doing of either.
For we could impress the right buyer, attain a name for New Zealand on the world stage. For that they encourage creativity in kids as young as eleven; economic benefit for those as old as ninety. They do not matter to you for such reasons.
These Spring collections matter to you because a certain piece from AM FIT shall inspire your daughter to look after herself. Another from Wynn Hamlyn will remind your friend of summer days spent at her grandparents’. She will be prompted to make a visit. A dress from Witchery shall remind a blogger you follow that feeling beautiful is okay. That being feminine is not anti-feminist. That one day soon, she shall go to Spain and to Portugal and to Prague, and she shall dance like a classy European woman would do. That she shall glow with self-love the same way.
These collections matter to you because like most art, fashion is evolving. It does so with us. And by way of, it evokes change on both a large scale and too, in the smallest facets of our lives. You may argue that clothes are materialistic. You are right. They are made of no more than the fabric the label does detail. But fashion never did depict just clothes.
It did too, the growth of society. The unlocking of identity cages, such as female and male. The rise of the renaissance and the showcasing of sexual empowerment. The acceptance of gay pride and the adoption of female rights. It was and continues to be, my friend, the very toleration of difference. A visual observation of such social, cultural and political disparity. Without appreciation and understanding, it has alone acted to sever us.
So you say you are too sophisticated, too culturally aware, too “concerned about real things” to care for Spring collections? Let it be said that you are so very wrong. And your dismissal of fashion’s capability is counterproductive to all that you supposedly care for.
Take another look. Read another article. Re-read this post. You may just discover that NZFW – why, fashion alone – is far more significant than a narrow-sighted eye has let you see.
Wearing: Witchery dress and shoes
Photos: Two Dark Coffees