Are the Clothes Important?

October 7, 2015

Chanel Spring 2016 via Vogue Runway

When the runway presentation is so cool, do the clothes really matter?

Designers like Karl Lagerfeld are showmen at heart—they dream of visions, grand ideas of the way of the future. They think in broad concepts, and while they may take every tiny little detail seriously, they're big picture kind of people, and the grander that tableau the better. 

At this point in time, we've come to expect Lagerfeld to put the show in Chanel show. It's like Christmas morning, uncovering the theme of this season's show, and Chanel never disappoints. Last time around it was a casino. The time before that, a fully functional brasserie. And now, for Spring 2016, Chanel is taking flight with the most fashionable airport terminal I have ever witnessed. 

via Vogue Runway
Let other designers send their collections down a threadbare runway, letting the garments speak for themselves. Lagerfeld knows better. We want to be entertained, we want an immersive experience, one that captures our hearts and our Instagrams. Beautiful clothing can only get you so far, but a gimmick, now that will get people talking.

But are they talking about the clothes? As the sets seem to get more elaborate with each passing season, the clothes stay shockingly similar. Yes, Lagerfeld is somewhat confined by the demands of a legacy house such as Chanel (tweeds and quilts, always) but he has proven time and time again that there is also plenty of room for innovation. These past few seasons, though, the clothes seem so similar. The colors may change and the footwear du jour might change from sneakers to Birkenstocks, but by and large it feels as if the clothing part has fallen by the wayside in favor of attention-grabbing showmanship. 

Good or bad, I don't think it really matters, at least with Chanel. Lagerfeld could send girls out in plastic bags and so long as the set was spectacular and photo-worthy, the fashion elite would applaud the collection as they took selfies against an artful backdrop. And the collection will sell. Part of Lagerfeld's genius lies in the gimmick, the kitschy-couture pieces inspired by the airport theme like the new luggage bags and the airplane-print knits. If it's a collection of garbage, stagnant consumerism, it's garbage that people are buying. And so long as the product sells and the people are talking, is there really anything wrong?

via Vogue Runway

What do you think of production-heavy runway shows?

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I love hearing your thoughts! Thanks for reading! ♥︎Lindsey