photo • trendtablet
Everyone in fashion might have read this article. It’s a trending article at the moment and for a reason. Lidewij Edelkoort (my big idol in trend-forecasting) is a Dutch trend-forecaster living in Paris, France. She was named as one of the 25 most influential people in fashion by Time magazine. With this speech and this interview she describes so well what we’ve all been seeing and unconsciously moving towards. And it’s an interesting theory to work from.
Edelkoort used her annual presentation at Design Indaba in Cape Town to fire a broadside at the industry. “This is the end of fashion as we know it.” She her interest in fashion had now been replaced by an interest in clothes, since fashion has lost touch with what is going on in the world and what people want.
“Fashion is insular and is placing itself outside society, which is a very dangerous step,” she said in an interview with Dezeen after her presentation. Edelkoort listed a number of reasons for the crisis in fashion, starting with education, where young designers are taught to emulate the famous names. “We still educate our young people to become catwalk designers; unique individuals,” she said, “whereas this society is now about exchange and the new economy and working together in teams and groups.”
Other issues affecting the industry include a loss of competence in textile design, the failure to address sweatshop conditions at clothing factories; and the cosy relationships between fashion houses and magazines and bloggers, which ties editorial coverage to advertising budgets. A new army of fashion bloggers who are dependent on inducements from the industry means that intelligent critique has been replaced by shallow coverage by what Edelkoort called “the ‘like’ generation”. ”The new brands will never get editorial in the magazines because they don’t buy advertising,” she said. ”And then marketing of course killed the whole thing,” she added. “It’s governed by greed and not by vision. There’s no innovation any more because of that.”
In Cape Town, Edelkoort replaced the second half of her usual two-part visual presentation with a reading of a lengthy essay entitled Anti_Fashion, listing and expanding on the reasons for fashion’s demise. She began by saying: “For me this is not easy because I love fashion. The loss of fashion is painful and I am a bit nostalgic.”
Reed the rest of the full interview by Dezeen here: “It’s the end of fashion as we know it”