Before the pandemic, leading designers were creating as many as six collections a year. These consisted of spring, resort, pre-fall and fall collections, including separate shows for both genders and even couture for some. Today however, these shows have come to be known as a dated format with a rallying cry to shun seasonality to pave the way for creativity and sustainability.
Traditionally fashion weeks showcased collections a season in advance and the clothes were only made available for purchase when the season in question realistically began. This long gap in between gave designers, magazines and celebrity stylists an opportunity to create aspirational desire for the product before it could be made available for purchase. This system has been in place ever since the inception of fashion weeks, but today our Instagram feeds are instantly inundated with images from fashion shows and the want is created at that very moment.
“Fashion shows are staged too far ahead of product deliveries, short-circuiting desire for collections when they finally hit the store,” claimed ‘rewiring fashion’ a proposal facilitated earlier this year by the Business of Fashion, that banded together an independent group of designers, executives and retailers from around the world who wish to resolve this issue at grassroots level. Since then big names like Gucci, Michael Kors, Dries Van Noten and Saint Laurent have renounced fashion weeks altogether, vowing to set their own pace for shows and reshape their schedule.The Seasonless Silver Lining
Earlier this year, a report by Ordre.com titled ‘Zero to Market’ calculated the amount of carbon emissions created by the travel undertaken by buyers and brands participating in international fashion weeks over the four major fashion seasons. They resulted in about 241,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year. That figure, as per the report, is equivalent to the annual emissions of a small country like Saint Kitts and Nevis or comparable to the electricity used by 42,000 homes for a year. The pandemic made it clear that the impact of several fashion weeks and seasons were disastrous and in dire need of reform.
Seasonality and the ancient fashion calendar were just a means to sell more clothes throughout the year. But that can all change if the entire industry were to embrace seasonless fashion. ‘Seasonless fashion’ doesn’t abandon the idea of weather-appropriation but aims to exude longevity, versatility and styles that outlive trends or fads. In a pre-pandemic age, buying that trendy or statement piece was all the rage but now priorities have shifted from buying something frivolous just to hang it in your wardrobe.
Less shows mean less unnecessary product and even lesser waste in materials and inventory. And that in turn makes room for a leaner fashion industry that promotes slow consumption and timeless fashion.
Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2021-01-16