Tale of Two Fashion Weeks
So I earlier reported on some of my more "public" adventures during NYFW week. While I was having the experience of attending more of the "mainstream" events and widely publicized shows, I was continuing to simultaneously experience the world I have been welcomed into right from the start: that of the emerging designers. Unlike the world I had a brief glimpse into which was more about who you are, or who you are seen with rather than the clothes, the small events, market shows and showrooms scattered around the city that are often invisible in the press or coverage of fashion week, are where real conversations happened for me. And most importantly where I saw some of the most unique and exciting clothes.
I have been finding much to my chagrin, in both the world of fashion and in my own school a kind of resentment of the young or the new. The old guard seems threatened by their digital savvy and fresh and different ways to look at problems, whether that be related to design and production of garments, or the development of not-for-profits to address a social problem in a unique way. Their confidence and wish for change seems somehow threatening. Despite engaging in all of the same behaviors that they accuse fashion influencers of having, an elite group of a magazine's editors launched a snarky attack on let's face it, young fashion bloggers, which was intelligently and swiftly responded to by Susie Lau (Susie Bubble), one of my favorite young intellects. So as you know I do not do dichotomies so this is not about old v. young. This is about being open to new ideas, sharing your space, supporting and collaborating with other women (and men). It is also not about rejecting mainstream fashion that calls your name. It is more about changing the conversation and changing how we interact with each other.
In the world of the emerging designer I have found that you collaborate and share. That when you meet someone it is not for a three second photo op but that it results in an on-going relationship where you start thinking together about new and different ways to show your talents. Like thinking about a fashion show that is also a conference. It gets you an invite to a carefully curated event like the one pictured above, where you get to meet someone's parents who are proud of them and where you can feel, touch and look at beautiful garments for more than a fleeting flash as they whisk by you in a big time show. Where there are lots of creative people who want to talk about the clothes, about you, about the exciting project they are working on. It's a place where you meet other smart women (and men) who want to reinvent, to express their creativity and to "do" fashion differently. These are folks who share opportunities and get as much pleasure from promoting and supporting you as they do from their own work. So after a brief visitation into another sphere I think I know where Accidental Icon really belongs. It is here in the less visible but infinitely more welcoming and creative world of the underground. Somehow I have always known this but for me fashion week confirmed it once again.