PHABRIK Magazine

Fashion Week or Three Ring Circus?

By Mark St. James - Marquis of Fashion

March 2013

Since the explosion of bloggers, street style and the commercialization of fashion week, wearing outlandish ensembles and letting your freak flag fly has never been so popular. With fashion’s elite wearing complete runway looks out and about and some bloggers becoming celebrities because of their almost alien looking wardrobes, everyone wants a piece of the attention pie.

The need to be photographed and popularized has had an interesting effect on fashion weeks around the world especially outside the tents and venues of the years most anticipated shows. It’s become something of a three ring circus with trigger happy photo bloggers and wack-a-doo clothing which may ultimately be revolutionizing the ways in which designers and consumers find inspiration in dressing themselves or creating new collections. Or… they’re just giving us all a good laugh at their expense.

Can dressing over the top be an expression of art and self through fashion? Or is it a cheap thrill to dress up in peculiar manner and give circus performers a run for their money? A tall man in heels walks slowly down what is now known as the “catwalk” in Lincoln Center leading up to the entrance of Mercedes-Benz fashion week wearing a long cream colored cape and matching suit. Sitting atop his head is a hat that resembles a warrior’s helmet molded to his head (in matching cream of course) with a perpendicular fin shooting out the top… The epitome of ridiculousness and the street style photographers are eating it up. He lingers around marble pillars and pretends to text someone giving the photographers the shots they crave. This is around 11:00 A.M. Around 7:00 P.M. the spectacle has somehow made his way into the tents and is posing with celebrities and such. Someone asks him if he saw any shows today… “No” he replies. His purpose at MBFW was to get photographed and chat with people…
how interesting.

Though the outfit matched in its material and theme, the look was utterly preposterous and lacked any element of style or relevant fashion that would have made it acceptable to wear to an event up to and including fashion week. It’s not enough to wear something crazy and act like a tart when attending a fashion show, or something of the like. I’d of thought it common sense to make absolutely sure that the outfit you’re wearing compliments your style, is relevant to the event in some way, or represent how you want to be perceived by the world. You may even wish to include a statement regarding where you think fashion is going or what is trending through your accessories and shoe choices.

Gazing at the gaspalicious looks can be intriguing and fun, but the truth is, it is coming to a point where only the craziest looks are being shot while the style forward outfits are being ignored. So who’s to blame? We can’t simply blame the bloggers, fashion victims who mean well, or flippant writers in dramatic attire; nor can we solely point the finger at people who loiter in and around the tents. Instead, we have to take a look at fashion as a whole and determine who or what is perpetuating this.

Looking at many of fashion’s most influential people from days gone by including Isabella Blow, Anna Piaggi, and Alexander McQueen we can see that they were all influencers for intense fashion and often times wore or created the most inspirational pieces and pulled them off with wit and precision. Are they to blame for setting the stage for the circus? No, definitely not. Their looks were always refined and told a story. Also, they were always perfectly in sync with the wearers’ personality. They will never be forgotten, but not because they looked silly or outlandish, because their style simply transcended modern conventional dressing.

Aside from fashion personalities and designers, editors of many of the world’s biggest and most influential fashion magazines are also spectacles at the best of times including Anna Dello Russo from Vogue Nippon and Giovanna Battaglia of L‘Uomo Vogue.

Having professionals dressed in wild and wonderful clothing (many styled and dressed exactly as they appear on the runway) only serves to publicize looks from a certain collection and push the reach of fashion even further. Fact is, stealing the lime light can be pulled off by abiding these simple rules:

Rule 1: Dress for yourself.

Rule 2: Dress in a way that represents your sense of style rather than what your perception of what could be seen as stylish.

Rule 3: Trends are great, but be sure they complement you rather than override the focus of your look.

Rule 4: Don’t dress like Lady Gaga… there’s only one Mother Monster.
Rule number 4 also applies to Iris Apfel, Daphne Guinness, and Adam Lambert.

To wrap this up, it’s important to look, dress, and act exactly how you are. Pretending to be famous or weird or anything else for attention is ultimately folly and will leave you on the comical side of the fashion front liners. Be a trooper and push your boundaries of fashion by wearing a well put together outfit instead of playing dress up and end up looking like a clown.


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Liquid Glacial Tables by Zaha Hadid
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