Sunday, May 06, 2007

Australian Fashion Week Roundup - Big names stay away!

Australian | Fashion Week | RAFW | Vogue

Oh how some things make me really mad!!!

I read an article "Big names stay away" while doing some online reading about Australian Fashion Week, recently held in Sydney. The article cites a Sydney fashion label owner, Danny Avidan, whose Discovery Group includes well-known fashion labels Charlie Brown and lili, as saying that Australian Fashion Week lacked participation by Australia's own established brands because the fashion week organizers, IMG Fashion, erred in focusing on new talent and failing to persuade more of the country's top operators back to showcase their latest designs. His following statement, and I quote, really ruffled my feathers.

"I think fashion week is a fantastic opportunity for new and emerging talent, but for an established brand to participate in the week is like Madonna going on American Idol."

I couldn't believe that I read this. I couldn't believe that this Sydney fashion label owner really said this. In fact, I wrote to The Age to let them know what I thought about this. Is this fashion designer right? Would established brands avoid participating in fashion week because they would be mixing it with too many new and emerging talents? Would this happen in Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo or New York Fashion Weeks? Does participation of younger, new and emerging talent somehow dilute the standard or quality of Fashion Week shows? I wonder how the many young, new and emerging fashion designer talent around the world would feel about this! I wonder what other established designers around the world think about this!

Aren't Fashion Weeks about showcasing "new and up-and-coming collections" from talented fashion designers whether young and emerging or from the older brigade? Shouldn't Fashion Week's job be to expose all segments? Talented young and emerging fashion designers, and I also include Fashion School graduates in this, also need exposure to the buyers and the press etc who frequent these shows. This experience could easily be the biggest turning point for a young, very talented and creative fashion designer and be that needed break that launches him/her into that established fashion club. Indie and new fashion designers may not as yet have an established name but they often bring a real buzz to these shows! Focusing more on rising talent, and less on established names might be a cry out for something new and exciting!!

It's great to see our most talented young designers amongst the big names. I'm unapologetic about my view on this and would love to hear what other fashionistas and fashion designers, both established and up-and-coming think about this! I would also love to hear what fashion buyers and the fashion press think about this!

Photo: Vogue

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