The last couple of weeks have been fashion intensive. First there was London Fashion Week - which ended on 20th February but continued till the weekend of the 24th with the London Fashion Week Festival (LFWF). Then there was the live streaming of the symposium Fashion and the Physique held in New York at MFit on Friday 23rd February, as part of the events built around their fantastic exhibition. Don't worry if you missed it, just visit the website and soon there will be a video recording of the symposium. I am also waiting eagerly for it because the live streaming had lots of technical problems and at some point I got completely cut off.
I neither participated in nor was invited to any of the shows of LFW, not this season. The British Fashion Council insists on not admitting to shows people who are neither press nor buyers and only those with an invite can go to a particular designer's show. Consumers cannot attend LFW but they have the Festival, where they can go to a few talks, see a couple (depending on how much they have paid) of carefully curated fashion shows and spend till they drop.
Model Sanna from Grey Model Agency for Toogood , LFW18 A/W
Hijabi model for Nicopanda , LFWF
The last time I attended a Fashion Week Weekend, as it was then called, was exactly ten years ago. It took place at the Natural History Museum. I don't remember it being too crowded nor pricey. Curiosity motivated me on this occasion. I really wanted to see what was presented on the catwalk , by whom and how, and what was presented to consumers, since most of the trends had already been seen through media coverage. Mindful of a few comments made on the scarcity of older models at LFW18, I wanted to know what would be deemed to be appropriate for consumers to see.Because of the price tag on the event I could not visit the festival on more than one day, one session rather, and I do not know what was presented on the days I did not attend. The shows I saw were conventional runway shows , no installations - the assumption being that consumers would not appreciate something innovative.
I saw Nicopanda's show and I noticed that there was an attempt at diversity, he even had a hijabi model ( here I would like to refer you to the article in The Guardian by Iman Amrani on why she is getting a little weary of the 'this hijab fetish').
Overall, my impression is that, as far as consumers go, diversity stops at age 25. Older models are simply not seen, especially if they are non-caucasian. This is bizarre and it points to a very lopsided view of age and of diversity too.
Model Dee from Grey Model Agency in the Toogood presentation at LFW18 A/W
This year at LFW A/W18 the only older models were seen at the Toogood presentation on 16th February and the two models were Sanna and Dee both from Grey Model Agency, which also represents me. La Cri who writes for the blog 50enni in Milan also reported a complete lack of older models at the Milan Fashion Week shows, as brands like Dolce and Gabbana or even Max Mara, earlier open to having their clothes worn by older models, this year only had young ones.
Nor does it makes me feel hopeful to learn that a model agency like Models1 has let off about twenty 'classic' models earlier represented by them, as reported in the Observer last Sunday.
Is there a backlash?