March 30, 2015

FASHION FREAKS – The show of the street at Fashion Week

They are regarded as a malady of fashion. An anomaly of a healthy system, that works following rational principles. Many times they garner laughs, since they’re being viewed as a kind of fashion clowns. Universally, they’re known as “fashion freaks” and are those people that wear masks, all sorts of disguises or go for illogical outfits, meant to draw attention, put together especially for achieving a shock factor. It’s a phenomenon with ever more followers, in every country.

And this has been going on for approximately a decade, amplifying as it went. The phenomenon grew bigger, because one thing is certain. Fashion is fashionable!

If a few years back, acting was the no 1 predilection of young people of no well-shaped professional perspective, today, any person that is in between jobs or doesn’t specialise in one particular field, claims to be a fashion consultant, stylist, personal shopper or a fashion critic. For, you know, of fashion and football anyone knows. Practically, these are the cover-up jobs of the (under cover) jobless. With no fashion studies, without previous fashion experience, they claim for themselves ring-well titles or claim abusively and of a self-professed manner job titles they themselves don’t understand.

And such an influx of so-called specialists couldn’t possibly miss from Fashion Week.

Many times, the parade overflowing the areas of the runways’ locations is much more spectacular than the one inside.

Battalions line up the outside of the shows’ locations. The effort put into it is fantastic. They come from far and wide (with the implied costs), have the energy and ambition of running from one location to another, as every hour there’s a different catwalk show in a different location. They wake up early in the morning, done everything they’ve brought with them in their luggage, wear train dresses from as early as 9 AM, to sweep the dust outside the closed show doors. After the show is over, they carry away their train to have if dust and sweep the following location.

They somehow seem to think that their mere presence, the to and fro in front of the fashion shows’ doors amount to making them legit, making it look like they were blending with the elite of editors and critics. Many among them resort to unimaginable tricks to get in. From forging invitations, to promising fictitious articles in fictitious publications and to even tricking the people guarding the entrance. Of course, these are shows of young designers who don’t manage to fill their seats and the lucky ones to have risen bright and early and are already in front of the door are let in, order to populate the space.

Of course, after their tremendous experience, they write on their blogs about ’’having been invited to Fashion Week’’ and not explaining that no designer likes his show being filmed with an audience half empty or half full – the real reason they had the luck of being among those applauding the finale of a runway in the first place.

They are likable, because they’d do anything in order to draw attention. From putting on lugubrious make up to accessorising their hair with feathers, striking hats, crowns of leaves and thorns, branches on their faces, dead animals on their shoulders and the list can go an and on, just like their imagination. The more they tap into over the top look tricks, the more they imagine they are finer connoisseurs of the phenomenon.

Initially, the ones interested in the fashion shows were only the fashion design students. A purely professional interest. But the more the events grew larger and into the picture also came photographers, the ones that consolidated the fame of personalities such as Anna dello Russo, the more scores of styling wannabes have made up their mind to knock on success’ door, by following the same winning recipe.

They are part of the show of the street and they are the picture-perfect image of fashion’s success. But should fashion lose some of its fascination, these people would, no doubt, seek brighter horizons. As fashion is well lit by the photographers’ flashes, for now, this is the perfect podium for their flaunting their talent or talents. It is a passing wave, a sort of trend, that will no doubt dissipate as soon as fashion will have a lesser visibility that it has today.

Of course, almost all of these characters declare being passionate for fashion. And here is where confusion steps in. One’s spending of vast amounts of time shopping, understanding of how to mix and match colours and having a dressing-full of shoes makes you (at best) someone with a passion for clothes (and, maybe, accessories), but not a passion for fashion. The passion for fashion is so much more. Because fashion is made out of much more than trendy clothes, the ones we find in the stores. Clothing is just a micro fraction of this mechanism. Fashion is an industry, a mechanism depending on a myriad of different components for a seamless, Swiss watch movement. It maybe is the most complex business in the world and surely the most competitive. Otherwise it wouldn’t have such a consistent input to the world economy. Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many businessmen in this sector topping the lists of the world’s richest people.


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