so, how was fashion week?
it’s been the most commonly offered query so far, this week’s return to the real world, bleary-eyed, beleaguered as ever. see post below. we’ve as yet managed to avoid answering the question directly, if only for the notion that ‘read the rantie’ is just a fuck lot easier. but the truth is, we’ve been mulling it for days and it just isn’t getting any nicer. so here goes nothing.
robin kay opens the shows of fallwinter10 fashion week by sharing with us her vision: a bigger and bolder event each season, with
more designers, more collections, more supporters. upon encouragement, the front row claps for her in earnest. and yet the front row is all there is.
despite her wishful thinking (and what we can only assume is best intention) this past fashion week seemed as confused (and confusing) as ever. in the midst of an obvious identity crisis, brasandranties is left unclear as to whether there’s really a vision for fashion week at all.
first, the location. forget the tents at bryant park (actually, forget tents altogether) the announcement that our fashion week would take place at the ex was met with grunts and groans alike. as seasons pass, the event has been slowly creeping west: from front and center at nathan phillips, and now, the ex. the allstream center at the cne. doesn’t get less glamorous than that. second, the timing. it was all wrong, and not just because it all started on a sunday night. ironically, the idea of a tradeshow convention (allstream’s function, after all) is at the root of fashion week’s essence: centralized viewing of designer collections for buying purposes. media awareness and coverage secondary. socialites primping and pruning just collateral damage. and yet toronto’s fashion week comes weeks after deadlines for orders have passed, most buyers already having seen collections prior in order to just do their jobs.third, the money. try as we might, we cannot seem to get our hands on any information re cash flow. what’s clear is that there are mighty sponsorship dollars coming in the fdcc’s door (the fashion environment is lined with brand experiential booths, a perimeter of monopoly properties) and yet designers pay to show. media reps pay to cover. boozers pay to drink. of course such a spectacle costs, but the unbiased outsider has to wonder how efficiently this money is actually being spent.
toronto fashion week, god we hate to hate on you. brasandranties is a believer that this city is brimming with creativity, with ideas and ideologies. we simply won’t buy in to canada’s inferiority complex; our self-perpetuating mediocrity, excuses, reasons at the ready. the world stage is the only stage there is, this act our only go-around. now (more than ever) this is canada’s time to show off our shit. and this shit simply will not do.
we have a flood of talent visioning and creating across our country, each of them desperate for a platform and for support. this platform’s purpose is to provide designers access and attention to buyers, to media. most importantly, to the world, for canadian designers must go global. the economics require it.
logic thus demands that the organizing bodies do what they must to garner that attention for their members. that is, by declaration of their mission, the fdcc’s sole purpose. by the looks of things we have the mechanics to get it done. we have the sponsorship dollars. and we quite obviously have the brains. and yet the creative drain continues, most of our best choosing to leave the runway d’official. our most exciting: greta constantine, mikhael kale, jeremy laing each choosing to (quote) go rogue. and wouldn’t you?
we need a fix, and we need one fast. a new way of doing things, new energy and new leadership. a realignment back to its mission, a refocus to where it matters most: on our designers. let’s discover what they need from their council. what they require for involvement and success in an organized fashion week. what their ideas are for showing the world what canada’s made of. it’s time for evolution, it’s time for change. it’s what fashion’s all about anyway.