Sunday, 9 January 2011

Past decade's top 5

Some say this post should have come about a year earlier (or maybe just a week?). Doesn't change the fact that these are 5 really important things that happened in the past decade. Plus they make a good Sunday post! 1. Second hand / DIY
It seems that the decade began with the remains of the '90s obsession with second hand clothing (think Kate Moss) and ended with the widespread acceptance of DIY clothing and accessories as something you can wear in public (think Yourself, This shift is a good example of how fashion really is for the masses and not just for celebrities or the elite: DIY is free, everyone can do it at home.

2. Designers went highstreet
Speaking of fashion for the elite and the privileged, about mid-decade and with WTO shifting most barriers for global production, dominating design houses are faced with a pickle: their styles are being 'borrowed' straight from catwalk and produced in thousands for a fraction of the price their collection sells. People no longer want to pay a fortune for a top with their name on.

They try to fight is with law suits and more affordable diffusion lines. In November 2004 though, a bomb is dropped by Swedish H&M: a limited edition line signed by Karl Lagerfeld, priced by H&M. Collaborations between mass production companies and eponymous designers become a standard ever since. Finally the latter found a way to grab a piece of the cheap fashion pie and shoppers are happy with the amounts they are spending.

3. E-shops
With the first e-shop,, being such a famous massive disaster in the late '90s, many were quite sceptical of the possibility to ever sell clothes successfully online. At 2004 British Fashion Awards, proved a point by winning the Shop of The Year Award and causing a stir. Now there are thousands of profitable e-shops and online shopping is a big industry with what seems to be a bright future.

4. Fashion blogs
Here's a new term that's emerged in this past decade. Much more than a term actually and you know it. For me, fashion blogs' contribution during these years will always be described best by Suzy Menkes' words in this clip: it finally turned fashion monologue into a dialogue. Shoppers have a voice too. According to wikipedia, 'Fashion blogs first appeared in the blogosphere prior to 2002, and Kathryn Finney, of The Budget Fashionista, was invited to New York Fashion Week as early as September 2003'.

5. Hellenic Fashion Weeks
(obviously this one's for the Greeks!)
Fashion shows and exhibitions have been taking place in Greece for as long as fashion exists. However, it was in 2004 that Greece officially announced the launch of a fashion week that... soon became two. 'Moda Athena' took place in October 2004 and 'Athens Collections' was established around the same time, with the first, featuring among others the likes of Doukas Hatzidoukas, Angelos Bratis and Vassilios Kostetsos and the latter listing Hellenic Fashion Designers Association members.

I believe 2004 was the year 'Fashion Forward' started in Thessaloniki too so it would be fair to say that mid-'00s were a fashion week era for Greece overall.

'Athens Collections' was based at Zappeion whereas very short lived 'Moda Athena' at the Hellenic World Cultural Centre. I was present at both as a... foreign correspondent, will try to find their booklets in my archive and show you at some point since there's not much available on the web about it.

Athens would not stay without a second fashion week for long though(!): in May 2007 'Athens Xclusive Designers Week' came to stay.

I guess all 5 somehow changed the way we see fashion today, in the year 2011. What remains to be seen is what the future holds for them.


Alessia said...

greeeeeeeeeeeeeeat post!

Patricia Munster said...

Hardly to believe that is only ten years. Thanks for reminding us!
Also cities like Rome, Amsterdam, Oslo and Berlin started fashion weeks last decade...probably more cities and not just Europe.