THE FASHION MERRY GO ROUND

Life is such a thrill. You'll never know what tomorrow brings and it always keeps you on your toes. The topic of this post won't be a deep reflection on life itself - I'll leave that to a delayed birthday post - but rather a figure of speech on the life of fashion as it is and how it has shaped my own perceptions of it.

As such I pose a question - do you follow brands or do you follow designers? With the merry go round that has and is happening in the world of fashion, don't you think this is a question worth asking yourself? In this day and age when a brand or fashion house is only as good as the designer at the helm of its collections, do you think the answer is obvious?

Personally, I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle. There are designers that I would absolutely follow to death, regardless of the brand they would be with. Reason for this is that their genius is so linked and intrinsic to their being that it is expressed greatly through their work whichever brand they may be in. Further to that, they make you reevaluate a brand you may previously have ignored or disliked and yet when they take over the reins you immediately fall head over heels in love with it. To name a few there's Phoebe Philo of Céline fame, recently discovered Alessandro Michele who is doing wonders with Gucci's much needed revival, Nicolas Ghesquire who I have been a fan of since his days in Balenciaga and now with Louis Vuitton and finally Raf Simons who I'm sad to see have left the veritable fashion house of Dior.

Then of course there are the brands who I just follow driven by its heritage, image, brand values and strong presence such as Chanel (ok fine, this one may be arguable but Lagerfeld is essentially Chanel reincarnated so...), Saint Laurent Paris, Prada and Dries Van Noten.

The answer is not as straightforward as you think. Reflect on your own and you'll see. This is why with all this noise about designers leaving and moving brands as early as last year, things have been quite tumultuous for the fashion industry. Change is inevitable.

Of late we're even hearing about brands and houses changing the way they do their business into a model that fits the world today - show now, sell now. Will it work? Only time will tell. Is it a genius marketing & business ploy - I would say so myself. 7 designers - with heavy weights such as Burberry and Tom Ford - are already in the bag for following this new model and I'm sure more will follow soon. I'm seeing some fashion houses slowly showing signs of shifting to this uncharted business territory - lest I'm reading the signs wrong. Anyway, I digress.

The point is, with all the change happening in the industry every once in a while it's always good to sit down and get a grasp of what is real. What is real to you. It is easy to get swept away with the glitz, glam and business of it all. Especially for a craft that is so deeply embedded in the power of emotions - be it the designers themselves, the brands or the consumer. At the root of it, fashion sells culture - or rather a reflection of it. And it is becoming increasingly important to keep on listening to yourself and know what you stand for, otherwise you will get swept away with the consumerism of it all. I'm not saying that I'm perfect and I don't get swept away, believe you me I do and I don't admit it as much as I'd like to. But with anything related to being true to one's self, constant reflection is necessity.

Maybe this is what I'll do in the next few weeks - reflect on me and how I express myself. Then I can cut to through the crap and find the core of my cultural expression albeit via fashion. Well that's for another post my friends ;)