New York Fashion Week just ended (see our heaps of backstage photos, party coverage and front-row interviews here) and this season in particular a lot of the top fashion editors for newspaper and websites expressed some less than enthusiastic for this NYFW season. The editors seem particularly wary of the overabundance of brands, technology, and street-style celebrities, which admittedly gets overwhelming (though Mr. Mickey helpfully reminds me that these editors aren't exactly being forced to do hard labor). But since these critics are some of the most respected voices in fashion and have hit upon some universally disappointing and unfabulous developments in NYFW, we collected their most biting comments and arranged them by complaint.
The clothes all looked the same/were boring:
"Casual observers of Fashion Week may not notice the difference anyway...The problem is there are too many labels and not enough genuine talent.Granted, we're only at the shallow end of New York Fashion Week, but it's shocking to see the lack of energy and imagination. You would think -- or anyway, hope -- that a young New York designer would want to...at least offer something that feels just as raw and connected.At a time when the talent in Europe is especially strong...the flabbiness of New York is puzzling. Maybe we are seeing the beginning of a generational shift in this country away from fashion as a creative medium." - Cathy Horyn, "There's No Dressing Up a Bland Start"
"Who you are, if you are attending New York's fashion shows this week, is most likely one unhappy puppy.But if it has been thus far, by general consensus, a dolorous season, a few trends (and how much do we hate that word?) have nevertheless surfaced..." - Lynn Yaeger, "S&M Fairy Tales Rescue a Dull Fashion Week"
"For a city - and a fashion week calendar - increasingly crowded with clones and conformists, a rapturous response from New York to maverick talent is a welcome sight." - Vanessa Friedman, "New York Womenswear: Outsiders Embraced"
There's way too much fanfare over what attendees are wearing:
"Ah, fame! Or, more accurately in the fashion world, the celebrity circus of people who are famous for being famous. They are known mainly by their Facebook pages, their blogs and the fact that the street photographer Scott Schuman has immortalized them on his Sartorialist Web site. This photographer of 'real people' has spawned legions of imitators, just as the editors who dress for attention are now challenged by bloggers who dress for attention. There is a genuine difference between the stylish and the showoffs -- and that is the current dilemma." - Suzy Menkes, "The Circus of Fashion"
"[The buzz was] not about clothes on the catwalk; the clothes on the audience, or wannabe audience, were being photographed right and left." - Vanessa Friedman, "Silver Screen Is Idealised in New York"
"Each time I worm my way through the mob inside the tent at Lincoln Center, I tell myself: these are not fashion people. But I'm wrong. They are fashion." - Cathy Horyn, "Some Fresh Ideas, and Wearable Ones"
"Playing King Canute and trying to hold back the wave of digital fashion stuff is doomed for failure. But something has been lost in a world where the survival of the gaudiest is a new kind of dress parade." - Suzy Menkes, "The Circus of Fashion"
The Internet is destroying fashion:
"I get that fashion is a marketing opportunity, just as I got that fashion was (once) theater and in the future will be confined almost entirely to the Web -- Oscar de la Renta via Netflix, an instantaneous, seasonless, highly controlled experience; an organism of new technology that will effectively eliminate the fashion system as we know it." - Cathy Horyn, "Some Fresh Ideas, and Wearable Ones"
"In the mid-1990s, when I stopped having to run from the shows to the film developing lab and first saw digital images, I blessed technology and was convinced that my working life was changing for the better. I had no inkling of the role that images would play, pitting fashion's professionals -- looking at shows for their own purposes of buying or reporting -- against an online judge and jury... Fashion has to some extent become mob rule -- or, at least, a survival of the most popular in a melee of crowdsourcing." - Suzy Menkes, "The Circus of Fashion"
"The thing is, runway shows are hard to photograph, especially from the sidelines using a cellphone. A lot of people miss the shows entirely, so focused are they on taking pictures that are almost always out of focus. It all becomes a blur." - Eric Wilson, "An Instagram Moment"
"At Lincoln Center, purported home base of Fashion Week, the scene in the main hall resembled nothing so much as the food court at the mall, with sponsors hawking their wares and crowds elbowing their way around to grab more stuff to tweet, blog or Instagram. In other words, as the autumn/winter womenswear season began, the hyperbole was heightened, the buzz was overwhelming - and none of it was about clothes." - Vanessa Friedman, "Silver Screen Is Idealised in New York"
Fashion Week is too long and too crowded:
"The fashion crew headed up to the tents in Lincoln Center, where the pre-show is increasingly depressing, like taking a bus to the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets on the weekend before Christmas.Inside the front door, there are two signs. One says: 'Occupancy by more than 1,500 people is dangerous and unlawful.' The sign next to it says: 'Occupancy by more than 2,500 people is dangerous and unlawful.' Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me. Is this a nightclub?" - Eric Wilson, "Scenes From a Mall"
"When Miley [Cyrus] appeared at the top of the runway and anyone with a camera bolted to her like metal to a magnet, the rabid, snarling crush began. People with smartphones and professional cameras alike pushed, shoved, and threw elbows, or just kept on walking and figured anything in their way would move or get trampled. We took a camera battery to the head and narrowly missed a repeat...And when it was over, the Cosmo army flanked her once again with ruthless efficiency, grabbing the back of her jumpsuit to make a human train as they cut through Crowd Surge 2: The Surgening. Hopefully everyone made it out alive." - Fug Girls, "Miley Mania at Rachel Zoe"
"When we walked into Marchesa on Wednesday night, the first thing we saw was Nina Garcia miming the act of stabbing someone. We feel you, girl, but hang on: Fashion Week is almost over. - Fug Girls, "Miley Cyrus Chills at Marchesa; Willow Smith Chills at Home"
"I mean, for the next four weeks, you are going to get trend reports once a week from these pages and reviews every day of a line-up of shows. Because all these shows happen during the same time and for the same season, there is going to be a veneer of sameness to their treatment but, truth is, they are increasingly not the same." - Vanessa Friedman, "The Catwalk in Your Living Room"