If creativity is the residue of lost time, as Albert Einstein said, certainly the catwalk is the platform to experiment with new ideas that otherwise would never have arisen. Particularly for designers who are wary of editing and want to satisfy every idea, in various forms.
Fashion shows can be boring. For buyers and journalists, who must go through four consecutive weeks of international shows each season, sometimes as many as eight a day, the worst runway shows are those with superfluous repetitions of the same clothes and the same ideas. The best collections are those from brands that avoid complicated shows, keeping the public engaged with innovation and new arrivals.
Which leaves most luxury brands, who want to sell to as many demographics and customers as possible, and are often guilty of sloppy editing. From Giorgio Armani to Chanel and Dior, the boredom of having to see more than 80 to 100 looks displayed on the catwalks, often through excruciating repetitions, is not uncommon. Luxury brands have a penchant for (many) variations on a minimalist theme. Case in point: that printed pony that is repeated on the catwalk in unnecessary and multiple disguises, be it dress, skirt, tunic, coat, T-shirt or detail. Rather than keeping the variations for the showroom sales team, each option gets a runway exit. At the request of the industry public.
While some designers can engage audiences despite a huge number of looks, like Matthieu Blazy at Bottega Veneta last week, where each outfit speaks to a different character, fabric innovation, innovative style and design, other houses tend to turn just the same record .
Here are six reasons to edit runway collections and avoid runway boredom:
1. Quality over quantity
By editing a collection to include fewer looks, designers can focus on creating exceptional garments with more attention to detail, better fabrics and better workmanship. This allows designers to create pieces that stand out and showcase their skills, rather than running a huge number of items that tell the same story and are perhaps less well-made.
2. Best presentation
With fewer looks, designers can show their collections in a more coherent and organized way, allowing the viewer to better appreciate the pieces and understand the designer’s vision. It can also make the show more memorable and impactful, as each play has more time to make an impression.
3. Time and resources
Creating large collections is time-consuming and expensive, especially for smaller brands. By editing a collection with fewer looks, designers can save time and resources, allowing them to focus on perfecting their designs rather than producing a high volume of garments.
4. Consumer demand
In today’s fast-paced fashion industry, consumers are looking for unique and standout pieces that they can incorporate into their wardrobes. By focusing on quality over quantity, designers can create pieces that are more likely to sell and stand the test of time.
In the boutiques of most luxury brands, the handbags, shoes, accessories and beauty categories tend to be the top sellers. They also take up most of the space. The full collection shown on the runway rarely, if ever, makes it to stores, with only a few items chosen by the brand’s retail shoppers. Most of the pieces seen on the runway are for image, not for sale.
All those clothes made for the runway that don’t make it into production and never make it into retail have a long carbon footprint. As well as the overproduction of fast fashion, brands that churn out copious samples of unused clothing after runway presentations contribute equally to the fashion industry’s waste of resources.