During Fashion Week, we’re so consumed with the overwhelming task of drooling over dresses and schlepping around the city that we scarcely have a moment to actually think about what we’re doing. Now that fashion’s biggest religious holiday has come to an end, though, it’s become painfully clear that we spent a week traversing the snowy city in stilettos, going from over-produced show to over-produced show, when checking out pics and videos online would have been a hell of a lot more convenient and less cold. It’s not so much a lack of interest in the clothes as it is the feeling that fashion shows are irresponsibly and unnecessarily expensive, often overshadowing the garments themselves, and totally behind the times.
This year may have been a tad less depressing for the fashion industry, with store closings slowing and brands that had been losing money at least breaking even, but the cost of a major fashion show still seems a frivolous expense when interactive presentations offer a hell of a lot of impact for so much less money. In fall 2009, Temperley London did an awesome job of proving that an online-only “show” can still look badass. Viktor & Rolf pioneered the digital show more than two years ago. Marc Jacobs live-streamed his fall 2010 show. Alexander McQueen (RIP) live-streamed for a couple of seasons, too.
While some may argue that showing online only takes away from the drama of the clothes, those of us who’ve actually been to the shows can attest to the fact that they seem to be far more about ego than they are about fashion. In fact, front-row scuffles, bitchy door girls, and a thick layer of trying-too-hard desperation can make it almost impossible to enjoy the gorgeous clothes. And isn’t that the point of the thing?