Katherine Bernard on hyper-speed fashion, alternative dimensions and suspended style
Fashion month is a wormhole. A tunnel between two planes in space-time: the present, where we are seeing current collections worn in practice on the street, and the future, where we see next season and consider all of the steps it will take to integrate those ideas into our lives. As individuals, we occupy the space between both planes - the high-speed in-between wormhole of fashion week.
If there's a tunnel between what we're wearing now and what we can see we will be wearing in the future, what happens when that tunnel is open ten times a year?
In time travel literature, when someone skips to the future, it creates a ripple in the past that usually messes with the way events unfold. Typically for the worse. So, say someone attends a show, and then leaves backstage wearing a piece from that show, and it is photographed and disseminated. Does that shortcut, that skip through time, hurt the future? Does it create an alternative dimension in which this item, ripped out and placed in the present, alters our ability to feel what's strong and interesting right now?
Maybe not. Perhaps the difference between AW13 and SS14 isn't enough to make fashion anything but fun. Then again, consider this: if there's a tunnel between what we're wearing now and what we can see we will be wearing in the future, what happens when that tunnel is open ten times a year? As individuals, what does it do to our sense of time if we're constantly, partly, traveling?
I wonder if we're living in suspended (style) animation
Last week, Suzy Menkes wrote an op-ed in T Magazine about the pacing of fashion cycles and what producing ten seasons at hyper-speed does to designers and clothing manufacturers. It may also be important to consider what it does to individual consumers. If we're always in this space between, are we in a kind of creative cryogenic hibernation aboard the fashion mothership? Looking at great outfits at fashion week, but hearing from people who are stressed and tired while wearing them, I wonder if we're living in suspended (style) animation.