Why Fashion Week Collections Are Always New But Never Creative.

London Fall Week Fall 2020 (photo; courtesy BFC)

The New York and London fashion week calendars do not include innovative or sustainable fashion designers, only sensational ones. This is because the business model for high fashion brand’s like Burberry is the same as for fast fashion brands like H&M. Both models produce collections to sell as quickly as possible. It is why fashion week collections are always new but never creative.

And it is why designers like Mara Hoffman and Mother of Pearl are not on the London or New York fashion week calendars. They weren’t excluded, they are missing by choice. They don’t change their aesthetic or their silhouette to stay “on trend” with the CFDA or BFC. Because their designs are sustainable and creative and focused on what is good for the planet and for a woman’s body.

Mara Hoffman Fall 2020
Mara Hoffman prioritizes natural, recycled, and organic fibers and does not use fur, leather, mulesed sheep wool or feathers.

But at some point in recent history fashion trends reverted to the new over the creative. Historically a fashion trend would last for years and fashion trends changed only as culture advanced. For example, one of the most lasting fashion trends in history is the hose. Initially men wore hosiery as a half trouser while riding a horse. The stockings extended to the knee or thigh and tucked beneath jodhpurs to allow easy movement. And at court a gentleman would change his stockings to something more ornate. But even after the invention of the boot the stocking trend persisted. Hosiery transitioned to the costume for formal dress, as boots were perceived as more functional. Even today the ease and functionality of hosiery remain and they still spark fashion trends.

16th Century Nobleman
In the 15th and 16th century hose was worn almost exclusively by European noble men. This was for practical reasons of the era such as better mobility while riding horseback.

But today’s fashion week trends are less about advanced design or cultural awareness, but about a new item in our closet. And that item cannot look the same as an item we bought 3 months ago. As a result, fashion week CEOs and brands push new, unsustainable, unnecessary fashion trends upon us at least four times a year.

In addition to the 3-month, fashion trend merry-go-round which includes shaming anyone who wants to hop off and enjoy a slow stroll in their favorite garms, fashion week dissolved the purpose for fashion trends – to buy for the life we live and the culture we want to advance.

Mother of Pearl Pre-Fall 2020
5% of Mother of Pearl fabrics are synthetic and they use them only where absolutely necessary, and they are working to phase them out entirely.

Ultimately today’s fashion week collections rob us of the joy in finding and wearing something we love. A design that works for our lifestyle, for our planet, and fills us with confidence. Designs that stay in season – such as our favorite vacation wear, our favorite party dresses, our worked-in work attire, or our favorite LBD.

But why do we let it?

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Nichelle Cole is the founder & editor-in-chief of The Fashion Plate magazine. A respected writer, stylist and influencer, she has been published in fashion magazines around the world.

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