How many of us can wait six long months to get our hands on that delicious sundress, that is just perfect for the summer break? As we gear up for yet another set of fashion weeks starting next month in India, the question lies bare in front of designers, merchandisers, retailers and buyers. Is the consumer becoming increasingly impatient to wait for months to buy their favourite designer pieces?
Also, in a world where we spend time in artificially stimulated temperatures, thanks to air conditioning and central heating, are ‘season-wise’ collections now a thing of the past? This question largely applies to Mumbai as opposed to the West, given the fact that they do have distinct summers and winters to boast of.
Customers today aspire to stay on top of things. They no longer want to capture images of styles they like on the ramp, only to buy them months later. Thanks to the internet, most of the designs are splashed across social media. This tends to give one the feeling that these styles are stale already, even if it’s just a month into the launch of the line.
Keeping up with the demand from consumers to buy new products, there is pressure on design houses to do smaller, newer lines on tighter deadlines. Thanks to the age of digitalisation, the consumer is no longer a lay person who is not aware of the fast-paced world of fashion. The rise of fast fashion partly explains that — people know a lot more about fashion now than they used to, and they want to see new things more often.
Our very own Lakmé Fashion Week took to showing current season shows many years ago. While a lot of designers find themselves shying away from the current season trend, the truth is that the industry will soon have to align itself to accommodate this new demand. Especially, if designers want to overcome consumer fatigue.
Sticking to current season will hurt the copycats too; take it from me, whose copies hit the fake market days after a showcase. Internationally, brands like Burberry and Tom Ford led the way to try and close the gap between shows and deliveries. And bloggers, fashion enthusiasts and fashion editors are beginning to take notice of this wave.
Today, the pressure on designers is more than ever — we at House of Masaba are deciding to showcase four collections a year. We try to create small capsules, but with fresh designs every few months. Till now, design houses have determined trends, but now consumer behaviour and technology, coupled with social media, will dictate fashion houses.
How to dress for fashion week
- Statement bag: Always carry a bag that you won’t tire of. A large enough sling and a large tote are ideal. But don’t overstuff things and keep it light and easy.
- Comfy shoes: Always carry a pair of flats that won’t ruin your outfit if you’re spending the day at the fashion week. I’ve been in heels through a fashion week day and my calves are yet to forgive me for it.
- Throws: Fashion week venues are usually freezing with air cons juiced up to the lowest temperature. Make sure you have a nice shawl, throw or a light jacket that goes with your look. Always rehearse the look a night before.
- Quick change: You’re loading up the coffee or the cocktails and you don’t want to spend the evening hobnobbing with industry favourites in stained clothing. It is a good idea to keep a back-up in your bag.
- Make-up: Keep it minimal; do not overdo or underdo the concealer. Fashion week requires you to put your best face forward, but that can be done with some great eyeliner or a perfect pop pout.
Gupta is a leading fashion designer. She tweets as @MasabaG