Thursday, September 30, 2010

Decoding : A future without catwalks

We now are into the period of the Fashion Weeks, and the models are bustling about going back up the catwalks. The catwalk, symbol of fashion, engraved in people's mind as the only way to show collections for what it seems to be forever. But, already back in July, when I saw that Givenchy chose to exhibit only few dresses in a private lounge, to happy few, I started to ask myself if the catwalk wasn't out of date. My impression is now confirmed by Gareth Pugh's choice for his Paris Fashion Week presentation.
He showed a video clip, directed by Ruth Hogben, a name that you surely will heard again in the future. The video possesses an aesthetic quality which bluffed me. The video, quite long, is a game of moving images of model Kristen McMenamy, wearing Pugh's incredibly gorgeous collection. But what amazed me the most, is the designer's statement. He claimed that it was the 'modern alternative' to catwalk shows. Pugh is of the avant-garde, a sort of Cassandra of Fashion. Could he be right ?

Can we imagine Fashion without catwalks ? No more plethora of models and outfits, no more front row icons, no more direct contact with fabrics, no more journalists. We would go to see a collection like we go to see a movie or an art exhibition. We can even imagine 3D movies projected in streets, monuments or museums, a technological version of Chanel, catwalking at the Grand Palais, in Paris. It would place Fashion in the domain of Fine Arts again, and allow creators like Gareth Pugh to express all their creativity.

Givenchy chosed an elitist version of this futuristic caltwalk, bringing back fashion to luxury and patricians. But, with Pugh's vision, we could imagine a democratisation of catwalks, where everyone could witness designers's collections. Which direction will we choose ?
But, maybe this is only a passing snobism, a Fashion equivalent of singer Prince's reaction to online downloading. Only future will tell us, but Pugh's initiative is certainly refreshing. Would you like a world without catwalks ? I, I would like to see more videos like this in the next years, and less private lounges.

Gareth Pugh's video :
Photos Ron Rox, Chanel, Givenchy and extracts from Gareth Pugh S/S 2011 Collection's video.


  1. interesting discussion, as doing videos myself I think videos are getting more and more important in an Internet and blogger dominated fashion world. online videos and live streaming have a potentially bigger impact, since they can reach a much larger audience of customers at home. however, I think that traditional catwalks and shows are also very important and will not disappear, because they provide a real life, first person experience to those interested in fashion, and for networking, business & press relationships.

  2. I loved that Pugh decided to make the video. I absolutely loved it. A friend of mine who's not into fashion at all said, "I never thought I'd be watching a fashion collection through the medium of a video and actually enjoy it" (i.e. watching an artistic movie of beautiful clothes is much more interesting than watching dead models walk down a catwalk).

    And I love your layout, by the way. It's really neat and gorgeous.

  3. First, thanks you both for your comments and compliments. I appreciate that you took the time to write your point of view. I agree that the thing which save catwalks the most is the interactivity between the many actors of fashion, medias and buyers. But for those who are never invited and who cannot buy easily, video offers a privileged view on collections that catwalks can't. But perhaps in the future videos will mix both, the real life connections and the democratisation ?

  4. It's all part of the democratization of fashion. The walls are coming down and bloggers are leading the charge in de-bullshitting fashion.


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