Monday, October 1, 2012

Navigating the Ready to Wear fashion shows

Twice a year, the major fashion designers in New York City, London, Milan, and Paris roll out their ready to wear collections for all the world to see.  I watch the shows on  This site documents approximately 400 fashion shows in fall and 400 in spring.  The last few years I've tried to watch all 800 because 1. I love fashion, 2. I love cutting edge art (I consider fashion the front line of the art battlefield), 3. this is my main source of trend info for my work, and 4. I'm worried I'm going to miss seeing an amazing, new piece of art I've never seen before that will change my life.  But it's too much.  It became not fun.  I can't do it twice a year, plus resort, plus pre-fall, plus couture.  And I was slogging through a lot of designs that didn't interest me.  So I tried to compose a list of the "must see" shows for myself.  I was mildly successful.  I whittled it down to 148 shows.  I then split them into five categories:

1.  My favorites (40 shows): edgy and innovative, their entire collections are consistently interesting and significant to the field
2.  My second group of favorites (20 shows):  consistently there are some interesting pieces worth noting but the whole collection usually doesn't wow me
3.  The designers the critics love more than I do (16 shows):  Shows that are good but aren't my taste.  Sometimes there is something I find exciting.
4.  The designers the public loves more than I do (19 shows):Again, usually not my taste but good to watch to keep up with the general public's taste.  And occasionally there is something I find exciting.
5.  Wildcards or designers I need to research more (53 shows):  These designers have caught my eye over the years but I don't know that much about them.  I need to do more research before I either delete them or move them to one of the other 4 categories.

So how can you use this list?  If you love cutting edge fashion watch the shows in category 1.  If you prefer labels you've heard of and want to see something interesting watch 2.  If you are new to fashion or only like mainstream watch 3 and 4 (1 and 2 might frighten you).  If you are feeling adventurous and lucky check out 5.  NY = New York, L=London, M=Milan, P=Paris

1.  My favorite designers
Alexander Wang - NY
Alice and Olivia - NY
Altuzarra - NY
Anna Sui - NY
Balenciaga - P
Balmain - P
Commes des Garcons - P
Costume National - P
Creatures of the Wind - NY
Dries Van Noten - P
Duro Olowu - NY - A
Helmut Lang - NY
ICB Prabal Gurung - NY
Isabel Marant - P
Issey Miyake - P
Jeremy Scott - NY
Kenzo - P
Louis Vuitton - P
Manish Arora - P
Marc by Mark Jacobs - NY
Marc Jacobs - NY
Marchesa - NY
Mary Katrantzou - L
Meadham Kirchhoff - L
Miu Miu  - P
Missoni - M
Moschino - M
Moschino Cheap and Chic - M
Paco Rabanne - P
Prabal Gurung - NY
Prada - M
Preen - NY
Proenza Schouler - NY
Rodarte - NY
Thakoon Addition - NY
Thakoon - NY
Thom Browne - NY
Tibi - NY
Tsumori Chisato P
Victor and Rolf - P

2.  My second favorites
Alexander McQueen - L
Burberry Prorsum - L
Chanel - P
Dolce and Gabbanna - M
Elie Saab - P
Emilio Pucci - M
Emporio Armani - M
Fendi - M
Giorgio Armani - M
Givenchy - P
Gucci - M
Jean Paul Gaultier - P
Just Cavalli - M
Lanvin - P
Oscar De La Renta -NY
Robert Cavalli - M
Stella McCartney -P
Valentino - P
Vivienne Westwood - P
Versace - M

3.  The critics love them
3.1 Phillip Lim - NY
Christian Siriano  - NY
Derek Lam - NY
Diesel - NY
Helmet Lang - NY
Jason Wu - NY
Narciso Rodriquez - NY
Peter Som - NY
Phillip Lim - NY
Rag and Bone - NY
The Row - NY
Topshop Unique - L
Versus - M
Victoria Beckman - NY
Zac Posen - NY
Z Spoke Zac Posen - NY

4.  The public loves them
Badgley Mischka - NY
Betsy Johnson - ?Still Showing
Carolina Herrera - NY
Cynthia Rowley - NY
Dior - P
Donna Karan - NY
Jill Stuart - NY
MaxMara - M
Nanette Lepore - NY
Nina Ricci - P
Nicole Miller - NY
Ralph Lauren  - NY
Rebecca Minkoff - NY
Robert Rodriquez - NY
Salvatore Ferragamo - M
Sonia Rykiel - changing ownership/designer-  P
Tommy Hilfiger - NY
Vera Wang - NY

5.  Wildcards or designers I need to learn more about
Acne - L
Alberta Ferretti - M
Albino  - M
Akris - P
Antonio Marras - M
Anne Valerie Hash - P
Band of outsiders - NY
Basso & Brooke - L
Blumarine - M
Bottega Veneta - M
Carven  - P
Chalayan - P
Christian Cota - NY
Custo Barcelona - NY
Gabriele Colangelo - M
Gary Graham - NY
Giambattista Valli - P
Giles _ L
Gregory Parkinson - NY
Halder Ackerman - P
Iceberg - M
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac - P
Jenni Kayne  - NY
Katie Gallagher - NY
Kelly Wearstler - NY
Limi Feu - P
Louise Gray - L
Maison Martin Margiela - NY
Mara Hoffman - NY
Michael Angel - NY
Milly - NY
Moncler Gamme Rouge - P
Monique Lhuillier - NY
Ohne Titel - NY
Ostwald Helgason - NY
Paula Ka - P
Peter Pilotto - L
Richard Chai - NY
Rochas - P
Roland Mouret - P
Sally LaPointe - NY
See by Cloe - NY
Suno - NY
Tadashi Shoji - NY
The Blonds
Three as Four -MB
Timo Weiland - NY
Tracy Reese - NY
Vanessa Bruno - P
Wess Gordon - NY
Yeohlee - NY

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