I am strangely compelled to follow the fashion weeks. I find myself less inspired by "real fashion" than ever before, and yet I scroll through style.com, jump from one designer to the next, only to be disappointed. I don't see much I like, and a lot of looks seem gimmicky and silly. What comes to mind is the embarrassing performance by P. Puff Daddy Dirty Money Diddy in Saturday Night Live some time ago. Like the artist in question, "real fashion" looks a little old, full of itself, and kind of stupid, even laughable.
I like The New York Times fashion reports. Eric Wilson recently observed that young men's fashion references were starting to revolve around themselves, and Cathy Horyn noted that in the age of tweeting straight off the catwalk, "lots of people just want to digest the experience of fashion without necessarily appreciating what makes a fashion new or interesting". I think Wilson and Horyn are right. A great deal of both men's and women's clothes I see on the catwalk look regurgitated and overly referenced. I, too, find myself unable to "digest" the fashion I see, but it is not because I am busy running to the next fashion show, but mostly because more often than not, there isn't anything new or interesting in it. It is February, and I am already sick and tired of the S/S 2011 looks, and I don't even read fashion magazines as passionately as I used to, and I don't read "fashion" blogs. I don't actually see fashion all that much, and it seems to me that the pulse of new fashion gets old as soon as I see it for the first time. I have taken one look at the F/W 2011 collection by Marc Jacobs, and I am already over it.
I can't put my finger on where I have read this, but at least some designers and fashion editors blame the retail market which demands new things all the time; people want fashion quickly, people get bored easily. I am going to throw a curve-ball into the mix though: could it be that people move on not because they just want the next trend, but because there isn't a whole lot of thought that goes into fashion these days? Could it be that there is actually very little staying power in the clothes we see? Perhaps nothing takes root in our style consciousness because we are shown bad fashion.
I am not your typical fashionista. I am no longer interested in trends, and a lot of the newer fashions that have found their way to my wardrobe have got there from the streets or style blogs rather than the catwalks. By the time catwalk-inspired clothes hit the stores, they seem redundant to me. I long for proper clothes: clothes that I can feel comfortable with for years to come. This doesn't mean I want "timeless every-woman classics" - it means that I want to see something interesting, something innovative, something that does not look like it is made for the fast and the furious. Clearly the fashion week is not the place to find this, because not only are the consumers of quick trends fickle, the designers are fickle, too. It seems that the reason I follow the fashion week is the same reason why I found myself watching an episode of The Bachelor yesterday: there is something tragically interesting in fast wreckage and lost cause.