Right after the week Chanel presented its Pre-Fall 2015 collection in Salzburg, we were all surprised to discover that Dior presented a fashion show for this intermediary season. A concept that the House of Chanel introduced in the 2000s and was the only one until today to present a show in an always different city, chosen regarding its History with Coco and her style. It seems today that Chanel is being caught up by Dior and surely in the future by many other brands which have the sufficient budget to be able to produce four fashion shows with the Cruise collections or even six collections with the Haute Couture ones.
This spread of fashion shows reveals how the growing demand of consumers is forcing the world of fashion and designers to produce more and more quickly. Today, it is no more every six months but every three months that collections are being unveiled. And creativity is losing weight in this mass production process. Perhaps Chanel is still protected with those Cruise and PreFall shows, which are considerably more couture, more unique and thus less easily productive. Karl’s collections for those two seasons are focused on an Haute Couture spirit, always super finely worked at the french ateliers. Indeed, every PreFall collection for instance is paying tribute to this savoir-faire.
But for Dior, it is not the case. This Esprit Dior collection was launched to compete with the Métiers d’Arts collection of Chanel, the two Houses wage a war between a very ready-to-wear capsule collection for Dior and a very handworked collection for Chanel.
And the influence of those two behemoths is influencing the other big-budget brands. Valentino, for instance, showed last year the Shanghai collection, designed for special Chinese customers in lieu of a Pre-Fall collecion too and today, it presented what they called an “Haute Couture” collection for the launch of their new flagship store in New York. It’s not official but we all feel that in the future, there will be much more Pre-Fall and Cruise shows and who knows, perhaps is there going to be some Pre-Fall and PreSpring fashion weeks?
My main issue with that new trend is creativity. Two ready-to-wear collections, two haute couture ones and two mid-season shows, is that too much? I think so, even if the success and the growing importance of those last ones are playing major roles in the sales and economies of the Houses, designers will mainly focus on their former collections. Why am I raising this problem? Because when I looked at Dior’s Tokyo collection, I was amazed by the lack of creativity. Raf drew one silhouette and declined it in several shapes and colors. That’s all he did. Even if the fabrics and quality of the looks are remarkable, I suddenly realized how those mid-shows were too much for the designer. He’s no more able to show his passion for which he needs time to think about, he’s now become a productive robot who’s asked to create, create and create regarding such marketing criteria in order to boost the sales and thus increase the monthly turnover.
I always say and I still think that we shouldn’t be afraid of our future. Tomorrow’s fashion is heading towards an infernal machine of production but I’m sure that once this peek will be reached, the whole industry will suddenly realize of its crazy race for more income and will lead to an other form of making fashion. If Monsieur Dior was looking at his today’s empire, he would certainly be scared by such power. Fashion is always evolving, and we are in a time where it is again changing. How exciting is that!