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Thread: random fashion thoughts

  1. #4801

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    In other words - Blame the Audience
    No, I don't see this as an audience/customer-driven phenomenon, but an ideologically-driven one (hence the "neoliberal professionalization"). Although some companies (e.g. Zara) are decidedly customer-oriented, and here a "blame the audience" argument might make sense, what I'm arguing is that creative producers, generally speaking, unconsciously, non-reflexively, etc. embody such a customer-orientation. It's not that they actively want to produce whatever "bad" product the masses want for the sake of making money/becoming successful/etc., it's that they are unable to see any other possibility. This is amplified through feedback mechanisms in place with the technologies that contribute to this movement in the first place, as well as the incapacity by any actor to challenge the status quo because everything can be rapidly identified and readily re-integrated into this hegemonic system.

  2. #4802
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    Quote Originally Posted by stagename View Post
    No, I don't see this as an audience/customer-driven phenomenon, but an ideologically-driven one (hence the "neoliberal professionalization"). Although some companies (e.g. Zara) are decidedly customer-oriented, and here a "blame the audience" argument might make sense, what I'm arguing is that creative producers, generally speaking, unconsciously, non-reflexively, etc. embody such a customer-orientation. It's not that they actively want to produce whatever "bad" product the masses want for the sake of making money/becoming successful/etc., it's that they are unable to see any other possibility. This is amplified through feedback mechanisms in place with the technologies that contribute to this movement in the first place, as well as the incapacity by any actor to challenge the status quo because everything can be rapidly identified and readily re-integrated into this hegemonic system.
    I know what you are saying - I just don't think you are taking your line of thought to the logical conclusion. If I post a suit and it gets 100 likes on IG and then post a sweatshirt and it gets a 1000 likes, so I start making sweatshirts, at the end of the day, blame the audience. And believe me when I say this - these companies do serious quantitative in-depth analysis on consumer behavior. Or what am I missing?
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  3. #4803

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    I know what you are saying - I just don't think you are taking your line of thought to the logical conclusion. If I post a suit and it gets 100 likes on IG and then post a sweatshirt and it gets a 1000 likes, so I start making sweatshirts, at the end of the day, blame the audience. And believe me when I say this - these companies do serious quantitative in-depth analysis on consumer behavior. Or what am I missing?
    This is very true, and it is hard to find a designer who is able to entirely ignore the client's wants as he/she/they create next season's collection. This can easily be seen by watching the items purchased by boutiques and the items that go on sale. The pieces which are truly experimental are few among the endless sea of tank tops and sneakers which are sure to sell, and will sometimes end up at 60%+ discount.

    Edit: That was an incomplete thought, my apologies.

    As the stores focus on those core/basic items being released in new colors each each season, which are easier to sell, the designer continues to release the SAME tops/sneakers season after season. Some of the more intricate and experimental garments are phased out, and won't be seen again.
    Last edited by julian_doe; 04-05-2018 at 02:54 PM.

  4. #4804

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    I know what you are saying - I just don't think you are taking your line of thought to the logical conclusion. If I post a suit and it gets 100 likes on IG and then post a sweatshirt and it gets a 1000 likes, so I start making sweatshirts, at the end of the day, blame the audience. And believe me when I say this - these companies do serious quantitative in-depth analysis on consumer behavior. Or what am I missing?
    But that assumes that what you are after as a producer is to sell sweatshirts for the sake of selling sweatshirts. Historically a number of artists/craftmen-women/designers/musicians/etc. have voluntarily gone against the grain, or have produced without having the end consumer in mind, i.e. art for art sake. So selling sweatshirts was beside their goal. What they want was to produce the best sweatshirt/song/poem/novel/insert whatever aesthetic product here. Not selling them.

    If the "logic of art" in fashion (and, I'd argue, most aesthetic markets) which used to drive this "art for art sake" orientation is disappearing, I'd argue that this is done rather unconsciously (i.e. nobody decided when waking up in the morning to stop doing art for art sake; no consortium met to decide that the industry was starting to move that way starting Monday; it emerged as a natural decision for most actors, a decision I'm arguing was driven either by a shift in market-level logics or societal-level ideologies). So actors are now deciding to sell a maximum number of units because that seems like the natural thing to do. In fashion, this might have been fueled/encouraged at the organizational level by the consolidation of the market, though. But that wouldn't explain this dynamic with emergent/non-established actors, and historically the periphery has usually been more divorced from economic concerns in most aesthetic markets.

    This shift in what is considered natural, whether governed by a change in market-level logics or societal-level ideologies, is what I'm talking about. The audience is not part of the story I'm telling. There has always been companies wanting to produce what audiences want. This audience has for the most part been rather, hum, undiscerning. But if the whole market is doing this (catering to what audiences want, and going back to the point I originally quoted, "Things feel far more insipid today, and those who still keep true to the "craft" are few and far in between"), that's a shift.

    You can draw parallel to other markets. Education is a good example of another neoliberalizing market (moving way from providing education to offering an entertaining and positive experience to students). So is publishing and the news (moving away from offering "good"/taste-based goods, or citizen-driven news to offering stuff that sells). Health in a number of countries (moving away from a doctor-driven/state-driven system to a market-driven one). Shifts in most of these markets have been well-documented. I'm sure there are a bunch of others but these are the ones I have in mind atm. What is bizarre for aesthetic markets is that "true" artists have usually been both studied and portrayed as being almost impervious to market forces, so this shift is saddening, at the very least.

  5. #4805

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    I could never square techno and vinyl. Explain.
    Wait, both of these independently?

  6. #4806
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    Quote Originally Posted by stagename View Post
    But that assumes that what you are after as a producer is to sell sweatshirts for the sake of selling sweatshirts. Historically a number of artists/craftmen-women/designers/musicians/etc. have voluntarily gone against the grain, or have produced without having the end consumer in mind, i.e. art for art sake. So selling sweatshirts was beside their goal. What they want was to produce the best sweatshirt/song/poem/novel/insert whatever aesthetic product here. Not selling them.

    If the "logic of art" in fashion (and, I'd argue, most aesthetic markets) which used to drive this "art for art sake" orientation is disappearing, I'd argue that this is done rather unconsciously (i.e. nobody decided when waking up in the morning to stop doing art for art sake; no consortium met to decide that the industry was starting to move that way starting Monday; it emerged as a natural decision for most actors, a decision I'm arguing was driven either by a shift in market-level logics or societal-level ideologies). So actors are now deciding to sell a maximum number of units because that seems like the natural thing to do. In fashion, this might have been fueled/encouraged at the organizational level by the consolidation of the market, though. But that wouldn't explain this dynamic with emergent/non-established actors, and historically the periphery has usually been more divorced from economic concerns in most aesthetic markets.

    This shift in what is considered natural, whether governed by a change in market-level logics or societal-level ideologies, is what I'm talking about. The audience is not part of the story I'm telling. There has always been companies wanting to produce what audiences want. This audience has for the most part been rather, hum, undiscerning. But if the whole market is doing this (catering to what audiences want, and going back to the point I originally quoted, "Things feel far more insipid today, and those who still keep true to the "craft" are few and far in between"), that's a shift.

    You can draw parallel to other markets. Education is a good example of another neoliberalizing market (moving way from providing education to offering an entertaining and positive experience to students). So is publishing and the news (moving away from offering "good"/taste-based goods, or citizen-driven news to offering stuff that sells). Health in a number of countries (moving away from a doctor-driven/state-driven system to a market-driven one). Shifts in most of these markets have been well-documented. I'm sure there are a bunch of others but these are the ones I have in mind atm. What is bizarre for aesthetic markets is that "true" artists have usually been both studied and portrayed as being almost impervious to market forces, so this shift is saddening, at the very least.
    I must be dumb, because I still don't understand why you are leaving the consumer out when you talk about these shifts. But, Ok. As far as the sources responsible, I'd like to offer a theory. I think these forces are both on the societal and market level. On the societal level we have a first generation whose parents told them that they don't need sensible jobs but they can be whatever they want. If I can be whatever I want, obviously I don't want to be an accountant. Coupled with the rise of technologies that significantly lowered barriers to entry into many creative disciplines - digital photography/video, internet publishing, music mixing technologies, Autotune, YouTube, Instagram, etc. etc. - it has opened the floodgates of "creativity." Now, this is also a generation that wants immediate success - and that's why you have children of famous musicians and artists as DJs, photographers, and models. Obviously, most of it is shit because they don't want to put the work in, but know that they will coast on their celebrity factor.

    On the market level, a lot of things (not everything) is quantifiable. I think this is why so much shit looks the same - everything is algorhythmed. I mean, shit, pop stars are now making music geared towards people's listening habits - mp3 + headphones. Forget about Nine Inch Nails putting 70 different sounds into one song, no one gives a fuck about that anymore. Vetements makes hoodies because the kids want hoodies - i.e. the same thing they grew up wearing, only expensive and with the right logo on it. It's not all top-down driven - if Vetements started making tailored suits tomorrow, those kids would go elsewhere.

    Are there creatives that go against the grain? Sure. That will always be the case. It's one of the reasons StyleZeitgeist is what it is, to champion those who are not pop. But will they be mainstream anymore - and by that I mean important enough to make a significant change in our culture? Probably not. The age of punk is over. The age of alternative music is over. The age of fashion design with capital F and D is over. It will exist, but only on the margins.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  7. #4807

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    Stuff
    Re: on leaving the consumer out, and based on a chat I had yesterday, if the consumer is relevant is this equation, and you are probably right in your hunch that she should play a role, it might have to do with their patronage of "sell outs", i.e. there seems to be a shift with younger consumers who are more than willing to buy products from purely commercial actors, or from actors posing as authentic but clearly being driven by commercial interest. There are bunch of articles on this so I won't expand more on the topic but I could see where this shift in consumer culture would fit in the model.

    Re: Coupled with the rise of technologies that significantly lowered barriers to entry into many creative disciplines -> This is what I'm exploring, but in addition to arguing that they have lowered the barriers of entry, I'm also proposing that they are technologies supporting the neoliberalization of arts, because of the affordances they have an how they structure the communications between artists and their audiences. And now we get to your idea of market changes, algorythms, etc.

    Re: this is also a generation that wants immediate success -> And this is perhaps what gets to the core of my argument, i.e. what are the reasons for this generation for wanting success, and I'd add a very specific definition of success, i.e. commercial success.

    And put together, the reason why subcultures/authenticity are dead/won't have the impact they used to have, I'd suggest, is because artists, as a category of actors, have been increasingly neoliberalized and, based on our conversation, because consumers have stopped caring about consuming authentic goods.

    In any case, thanks Faust for the discussion, I hadn't laid down anything yet on "paper" and this really helped me gather and precise my thoughts. I'm sure it will be most useful moving forward.

  8. #4808
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    I'll be the first in line to read your thesis, stagename!
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  9. #4809
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    I didn't even get to my apartment in Tokyo from the airport and already saw a guy in an m.a.+ leather. I see one in New York maybe once in six months, unless it's an SZ universe event...
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  10. #4810

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    Having been an admirer of Jean Paul Gaultier and Hussein Chalayan only in retrospect, does anyone know why they have dropped off much more than say Yohji or their other contemporaries? Many of their shows I see from the early 2000s in my opinion top a lot of other designers at that time who have stayed prominent

  11. #4811

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    ^This might not be an all-encompassing answer to your question, but looking at Yohji in a vacuum, part of the answer lies in catering towards the new generation of mass consumers. Say if you look at the diffusion line, Y-3, which imo ranks alongside Off-White, etc., so it's able to remain top of mind for the new purchasing power versus Hussein Chalayan, who although has done more attainable pieces and collaborations with sports brands such as Puma, has done so on a much smaller and less wide reaching scale.
    calvinc - "Found this place and omg the people here are so cool and they dress super ultra mega well!"

  12. #4812
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercilious View Post
    Having been an admirer of Jean Paul Gaultier and Hussein Chalayan only in retrospect, does anyone know why they have dropped off much more than say Yohji or their other contemporaries? Many of their shows I see from the early 2000s in my opinion top a lot of other designers at that time who have stayed prominent
    In addition to what mononon said, entirely correctly - they are two different cases in terms of concept and scale. Gaultier is infinitely bigger and more successful. He probably has made more money on perfume than on clothes. Gaultier was the embodiment of the 80s - in your face glamour mixed with contemporary culture. Chalayan was the embodiment of the 90s - sober, intellectual.

    The underlying basic answer is simply that fashion has moved on and they failed to. Neither really did streetwear, neither really had it in his heart to follow the radical casualization of dress, neither really cared to cater to the new generation of the young. Nor did they have the marketing machines behind them to propel them into the future.

    Gaultier is just incredible and it's really sad to see that the kids have absolutely no idea what a trailblazer he was and how much he has done for fashion in general.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  13. #4813

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    Quote Originally Posted by supercilious View Post
    Having been an admirer of Jean Paul Gaultier and Hussein Chalayan only in retrospect, does anyone know why they have dropped off much more than say Yohji or their other contemporaries? Many of their shows I see from the early 2000s in my opinion top a lot of other designers at that time who have stayed prominent
    Watch:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qht7JRaePO0
    “You know,” he says, with a resilient smile, “it is a hard world for poets.”
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  14. #4814

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    Thanks all,
    It is pretty sad to watch their shows nowadays,
    and Muglers website looks like macy's

    Thanks for the recommendation Zam, Being from the younger generation is nice because I get to experience these shows for the first time-- It was amazing to see Vogue music given a worthy aesthetic companion esp. because it is usually paired with Shayne Oliver's creations... Can you link me a shorter version? (just kidding)

    I had the thought while watching it though, that these designers were some of the last to do theatrical presentations, where nowadays (atleast to me) the experimental side of fashion seems a little too calculated

    Possibly to do with the devaluation of the form as an art-- although I hate to be a naysayer of what goes on nowadays

  15. #4815
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercilious View Post
    Thanks all,
    It is pretty sad to watch their shows nowadays,
    and Muglers website looks like macy's

    Thanks for the recommendation Zam, Being from the younger generation is nice because I get to experience these shows for the first time-- It was amazing to see Vogue music given a worthy aesthetic companion esp. because it is usually paired with Shayne Oliver's creations... Can you link me a shorter version? (just kidding)

    I had the thought while watching it though, that these designers were some of the last to do theatrical presentations, where nowadays (atleast to me) the experimental side of fashion seems a little too calculated

    Possibly to do with the devaluation of the form as an art-- although I hate to be a naysayer of what goes on nowadays
    YES. That's one of the saddest things. Now, only Chanel, Dior, LV, and Gucci have the budgets for this. And their shows still suck. Imagine if Undercover had the budget that granpa Karl has for their shows? And all we get is some dumb Chanel rocket.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  16. #4816

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    Quick read André Leon Talley’s Next Act did anybody watch the movie?
    I love beautiful melodies, telling me terrible things.
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  17. #4817

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    YES. That's one of the saddest things. Now, only Chanel, Dior, LV, and Gucci have the budgets for this. And their shows still suck. Imagine if Undercover had the budget that granpa Karl has for their shows? And all we get is some dumb Chanel rocket.
    the problem here is that EVERYBODY wants and excessive amount of money for the smallest thing once is comes to fashion week and shows.
    there was a time when great shows were possible on a budget, but that's a pipe dream now.
    everything is x10 in terms of price when it comes to NY fashion week
    “You know,” he says, with a resilient smile, “it is a hard world for poets.”
    .................................................. .......................


    Zam Barrett Spring 2017 Now in stock

  18. #4818
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton View Post
    Quick read André Leon Talley’s Next Act did anybody watch the movie?
    I’ll wait for it on DVD, as they used to say. I did read that yesterday and couldn’t help but wonder how many people he has fucked over and left on the side of the road in his career?
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  19. #4819

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    In regards to fashion shows...

    I wish that these were more accessible to smaller artisanal brands. However, it seems to me that film allows brands to display their work in a "performance" setting.

    As well, it seems like the bigger brands that can afford elaborate shows only do so to make up for decreasing quality in their garments. Not all of them of course (Rick is an exception?), but in my opinion these shows are defdinitely being used as a marketing technique as opposed to a canvas upon which to showcase a concept.

    Those are my 2 cents...

  20. #4820

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    I agree, Julian_Doe.
    For me Fashion Shows are often a tool to generate Instagram-Worthy Pictures though for me nearly every setting and the looks looks cheap through a shaky iPhone-lens.

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