Case Study

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Photography Jo Duck 
Styling Elle Packham

I haven’t had time to do much of anything these days besides working or DJing so please excuse my lack of writing. I hope this texture-obsessed black and white editorial more than makes up for the spottiness of my updates. Peep the tags for a list of designers featured in this spread.

Stay chill out there. ❤

Images via Drop

NYFW AW15: Best Of

dazed-rick-owens-0925-number-8 10427362_612580215540127_6495771398530206157_n Hood-by-air-aw15-nyfw-imag-via-Dazed-digital-shot-by-Dillon-SachsB9rIdBIIMAA4J3BNew York fashion week is over. As the fashion set jets off to London‘s more experimental pastures, we here at The Pack wanted to assess everything we saw in the past week. With all the hype surrounding Kanye West’s collection for Adidas Originals, the accessories frenzy over at HBA, and all the fuss about Tom Ford moving his (underwhelming)collection to Los Angeles, it’s easy to forget the actual clothes, especially ones as practical and literally ready to wear as the ones presented during NYFW. There weren’t a whole lot of surprises. Lots of beautifully executed 70s details from the usually safe players—Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff, Calvin Klein—and even from the usually not-so-safe players like Altuzarra and Zimmermann. Lots of earthy browns seen everywhere from Victoria Beckham to Calvin Klein to Derek Lam. Never thought I’d be drooling over brown, of all colours. And of course, plenty of fur collars and fur in general, at Altuzarra, Jason Wu, Michael Kors, and 3.1 Phillip Lim.

For obvious reasons, the collections that stood out the most were ones that strayed from the recurring themes of this fashion month, or ones who articulated their influences in a subtle way. Inspired by a new collection of photographs by Spike Jonze, Opening Ceremony‘s collection featured whispers of the 70s shape (in the way of flute hems and high turtlenecks) with plenty of other motifs thrown into the mix. There were prints and jacquards produced from Jonze’s photographs (not as gauche as it sounds actually), vintage Kodak printed shirts, and assymetrical knits that felt more 90s than disco. At The Row and Ryan Roche, garments were hardcore relaxed and executed with precise hands, but we all know both labels have been on this tip for a minute now. The all over pleats at HBA were unlike anything I’ve seen before. And the grunge meets sporty utilitarian looks at Public School seemed simultaneously nostalgic and unfamiliar.

I was excited to see one of the more diverse New York Fashion Weeks in a while. No idea if this signals something industry-wide or if it’s just in New York, which is usually the most racially diverse out of the four fashion weeks anyway. I’m crossing my fingers for London, but probably not holding my breath for Paris and Milan.

Click after the jump for more pictures of The Pack’s favourite collections from New York Fashion Week.

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This Fall: Wear… anything!

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Above: No. 21 A/W 2014

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Above: Christopher Kane A/W 2014

It’s Fall! Everyone’s favourite cozy layering season and fashion media’s cue to dig deep, back into its collective memory to try and remember what went down the Autumn/Winter 2014 runways way back in early Spring. It used to make sense for the fashion-concerned to take care to follow trends, find It-pieces, and look forward to runway influences eventually trickling down to mass market retailers once the seasons had lapsed. I can remember a time not so long ago when fashion was slower and toed the line of designers’ visions and editors’ seasonal picks. Especially vivid is the stranglehold boho-chic’s particular vapidity  had on the fashion industry — I remember it so well because it coincided with the year I started my first real adult job. I saved a lot of disposable income steering clear of shop after shop filled with the same bland faux-hippie offerings. I remember wishing I had bought more basics during the seasons previous when mod reigned supreme at Club Monaco and on the sales racks at Holt Renfrew Last Call, worrying about the scarcity of miniskirts and turtlenecks in the brave new boho world.

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Above: Sharon Wauchob A/W 2014

Then the recession happened and the fashion industry catapulted into a fevered pitch of consumerism. Fast fashion picked up speed, online retailers started making their presence known, streetstyle photography and the proliferation of fashion blogs satiated the fashion-hungry masses, events called Fashion’s Night Out spread across big shopping cities around the globe, and all these moving parts contributed to the massive, churning contemporary fashion industry and what is too often coined its “democratization.”

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Above: Emilio de la Morena A/W 2014

Ceding power to mass retailers and hobbyist fashion enthusiasts did not bode well with industry insiders until they learnt to use amateurs to their advantage and made aspects of accessibility through social media and designer collaborations incredibly lucrative. At the height of recession panic, designers were interested in reforming the established fashion week schedule and the timing of retail clothing delivery to better coincide with consumers’ pace of consumption of not only goods, but also information about fashion.

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Above: Marchesa A/W 2014

Now half a decade since Donna Karan heralded the fashion industry’s own demise, you can really see the incredible changes that mass retailers have wrought on an unresponsive fashion establishment.  Just today, November 12, 2014, I received an email (that went straight to spam, mind you) from Style.com entitled “45 of Spring’s Best Accessories!” Ok, that exclamation was my own addition, but, seriously. 45 accessories for Spring [!]. Are there even enough days in Spring to wear all of the featured accessories? Do readers have enough untold millions to spend on them? Furthermore, unless the accessories you’re trying to hock via email in mid-autumn are keeping my cheeks from getting frostbitten, your content is utterly irrelevant and will be completely forgotten by Spring.

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Above: Tod’s A/W 2014

While the fashion industry continues its loopy scheduling, it risks being completely overshadowed by a maniacally efficient fast fashion industry that regurgitates runway looks and has garments in consumers’ hands before designers might even begin mass-producing pieces they’ve just shown. Zara stands out as the most monstrously zealous of all the fast fashion companies – it designs 40,000 new products annually and produces about 10,000 of those in a plethora of colours and sizes. While the fashion chain keeps prices relatively accessible, its constant pushing and pulling of products encourages impulse purchases and drives a kind of exclusivity — shoppers know items won’t be there long and opt to buy runway looks long before their mimicked original even gets to luxury department stores. The pace of fast fashion is what has perhaps most influenced fashion media and the inane “45 Best Summer Heels that go with the Season’s Hottest Hemline” listicles we read in the dead of winter.

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Above: Christian Dior A/W 2014

As a result of not only the current over-saturation of fashion marketing and commerce, but also the incredible lag in time between the presentation of designers’ lines and the seasons they’re meant to be worn in, the idea of any kind of definitive guide to fashion seasons has become obsolete. In my own attempt to look back at my meticulously plotted out Excel spreadsheets tracking trends from A/W 2014 fashion weeks, my efforts to put forth any kind of guide were quashed by fuzzy memories of lines I was surprised to revisit, it’d felt so long ago. Among my neatly kept list of favourites (all of which I’ve captured pictorially in this post) there is no real abiding trend or style. Bulky coats in every fabric under the rainbow is the closest I could come up with. How about “45 Bulky Coats in Every Fabric under the Rainbow for Fall” – damn, I could write content for Style.com!

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 Above: Anthony Vaccarello A/W 2014

Ultimately, in attempting to survey Fall trends we’ve ended up taking stock of the utter dysfunction embedded in an industry that attempts to court artists, but lets corporations get away with the merciless over-production of copied goods. And ultimately, I’ve surrendered: this Fall (and every season after), wear anything!

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Above: Honor A/W 2014

Credit: If you’re interested in the business side of fashion (as well as the history, culture, and theory that envelopes fashion), you would do well to subscribe to Jason Hirschhorn’s FashionREDEF daily newsletter. The impeccably curated links come to your inbox every morning and broach a range of subjects that inspired this post.

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Above: Zimmermann A/W 2014