What I expect for fashion in 2017
This morning, I woke up reading Vanessa Friedman's column in the New York Times (I love her), about what to expect for fashion in 2017. Obviously all (american) eyes will be on the inauguration, which designers are going to be worn, and from where they are (apparently it is the end of the American designer era, pushed so beautifully by Michelle Obama). I personally don't care about fashion in the white house (obviously unless it's on Michelle), and I don't care for watching fashion unfold there in 2017 (or for the next 4 years for that matter). Here, "first" lady Sophie Grégoire is actually doing a great job (when she's not copied by Mélanie Joly.)
The major thing I expect for fashion this year is the continuation of cultural appropriation in fashion (Marc Jacobs, I am still looking at you and your crappy apology). Last year has been mark with a rise in white supremacy being displayed in the light of day (Brexit, Trump). Where do you think people, fashion designers and stylists are going to find comfort? In "getting inspiration from the streets" obviously, as they always do. They come to our neighbourhoods (city neighbourhoods with a majority of kids of colour) and they "get inspired" by the way we dress. It starts with a few street-style shots, next thing you know baggy pants, hoodies, and clothes considered urban and non professional are on the runway, selling a culture/lifestyle to a white, richer crowd.
I am also expecting the "see-now, buy-now" approach started in 2016 to fall flat. Honestly, I don't understand how this started in the first place. Yeah, yeah, I understand that brands are looking to create a hype and get as much buyers as possible, as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, what I got from it was less fashion, more branding. I felt like designers jumping on the see-now buy now bandwagon were more committed to creating something that would sell, rather than create clothes that would reflect an era. I felt like fashion design from the runway became simple clothes. There are places where we can see now buy now, and I still believe high fashion should sell dreams, be collected, appreciated and not consumed fast. I say I expect this approach to fall flat but I'm wishing for it to be a short experiment and for 2017 not to repeat it.
I expect Japanese fashion to be everywhere: the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (basically church for me) will open a thematic show on Rei Kawabuko / Comme des Garçons starting in early May. You know what that means? Yes. The Met gala will probably be Japanese-themed. Personally, I know that prior to going to the show, I'll re-read everything I've learned about her in my fashion class at Concordia, as well as look at all the collections I've seen of hers since I became aware of Japanese avant-garde in the mid-90s. I am hoping that people will get inspired by her design (rather than appropriate Japanese culture). I'm super excited that a designer of colour will have a solo exhibition at the Met.
Finally, I expect designers who work best to keep doing great work, no matter the house they are in. I expect Alessandro Michele to still make Gucci the beautiful, creative, colourful fashion house that it is. I expect Raf Simons to work well at Calvin Klein, and I am hoping he'll make their boyfriend jeans last longer than the 2 pairs I've bought a few years ago and both lasted 1 year each. I expect (Canada's own!) Aurora James to keep making Brother Vellies the beautiful, sustainable, sensitive fashion brand she is so good at doing. (I am hoping to be able to meet Aurora one day in my life, but if I do it soon, I'll be too starstruck and won't be able to say anything). And I expect designers of colour will make their voices heard, and we'll see more and more of them this year.