What does this mean? When my class had to present our groups of "croquis" (fashion sketches on a figure) the teachers were always looking for cohesive groups mixing prints, coordinating solid colors, diversity of separates, etc. Exactly what department store buyers would buy, consistent price point and easy enough for the most unimaginative retail to understand. Were they asking design students to scale new heights in creativity? No. They were teaching us to get a job. Parsons students of today are no longer pushed into this philosophy based on the artistic work I have saw at the last graduate show. In this century, designers can only distinguish themselves from the big labels by doing something completely different.
Michael Kors is the perfect example of the old school. He's not breaking new ground in fashion design, but he is an American fashion icon by his wit and business savvy. His spring 2014 collection mixed conservative long, buttoned up dresses and classic coats in brown, navy, camel, green. There were cropped tops and short shorts in the same fabrics to accommodate the same customer's daughters.
The MK handbag was a huge breakout hit at retail the last few years, so purses also took center stage on the catwalk.
I may not look to Mr. Kors for design inspiration, but he's the first man I would go to for a great quip or learn the industry from.
|original photos by David TW Leung|