Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Insta Mode: SS 2014

Mary Katrantzou, SS 14 by Susie Bubble

Insta is SO in. If you have been following fashion media, you will find the most insta show season yet. Official corporate live streams are accompanied by more Instagram snaps than ever. iPhone cameras are becoming the lens of fashion and according to a new study are influencing consumption. The Instagram image above by Susie Bubble was issued as a "catch up," two days following the show, due to failed battery. Two days now requires an explanation because we occupy insta-now, and do not give much regard to yesterday. And before we can process what we see, we are on to the next one.

10 Crosby by Derek Lam SS 14

Designers spend months creating concepts and overseeing production that in seconds we visually consume. This has always been the case, but there are now more designers and more immediate images of them. These simple chic looks, 10 Crosby by Derek Lam above and Altuzarra below, were two in a stream of thousands. They are both made with understated strength for consideration. But as I began to reflect on them, they were already out of the media consciousness and discussion and not as relevant. Insta mode is a focus on the new, which is always already being replaced.

Altuzarra SS 14

YSL 1969

The fashion show has an interesting history. For the first seven decades or so, shows were a considerate presentation of a designer's work to a room of invited, informed guests who were interested to buy or support the fashion. Looks were slowly presented to the public, and now are seen immediately by anyone, anywhere. The media spotlight builds the fame and brands of designers, as well as the insta media stars, but nothing can replace being there. Below Coco Chanel's last show in 1971 was a privileged room to occupy. Being at a show delivers the music, environment and guests that reveal a designer's character and the value of the brand. 

Chanel 1971

Derek Blasberg at Erdem SS 14

So "big deal" some may say. Fashion is still similar with a select few present, and just more visible. We can ride with the times and embrace this instantaneous experience along with official press. Media appears to only make fashion bigger. Just love the player, and the game, I always say. But then there is the other consideration, the divide between first hand experience and the illuminated images that divert us all from reality and make everything bigger than life. Even people present at shows are forfeiting the show for images. The alternate global-consciousness-image-reality is rising above all things, not just fashion. Fashion has long been the avant garde forward player, and only insta media seems to have what it takes to compete for our attention. If we look over the media stream of fashion week, when we should be focused on clothing, we find a lot of other content. There is a risk of having more interest in the fashion of seeing it first, than in what we are even seeing. 

P.S. Susie Bubble responded via Twitter saying "I would argue though that you do not miss the show experience just because you are welding [sic] a camera. The brain can multi-task." Yes of course we can see and consider a fashion show and also document it. This is our insta moment and all is possible. The question is if insta media is shifting the focus or attention span. Like every era, we want to see beauty in it's latest form. More on that here.

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