Is fashion too obsessed with TikTok?

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In this crazy, trendless world of influencer culture and runway styles going viral like TikTok DIY projects, the runway is increasingly susceptible to the whims of Gen Z, and why not? They will try everything: crop tops, skirts, high heel boots. We’re living a revolutionary time in our personal style, and a lot of it is happening, or at least starting, online. However, designers should still hold a position of authority in this ecosystem, and as spring 2022 menswear kicks off, it’s worth asking: who is really influencing here?

Last weekend the New York Times explained how the fashion world, especially retailers and trend forecasters for department stores and mall brands, determined what to sell. The pandemic threw a wrench into old models for predicting what’s cool – on the one hand, it made catwalk surveys and making quick copies obsolete – and spotting trends is now “an obsessive study. from web traffic and reviews, Instagram and TikTok posts, bridal registry data and restaurant and hotel reservations. This has always been a piece of the puzzle for many chains, but it has become essential to their survival over the past year. ”If you go to a department store or fast fashion retailer, you’ll see a bunch of seemingly unrelated items that are nonetheless tied together under the TikTok style umbrella: camp shirts With fruit print, Grateful Dead track shorts, Chelsea boots (yes, mid-June!), and lace buttons, it’s like stepping into your iPhone.

But the trend has bled far beyond the confines of your local mall. Last weekend, Milan Fashion Week presented two spring 2022 collections that seemed to confirm that fashion is becoming extremely online– and that TikTok’s hold on fashion extends to brands that looked bottom-up on the upward trends of social media. First, a collection of crop tops by Silvia Venturini Fendi, who designs the men’s clothing of the Italian leather brand. (Kim Jones, following in the footsteps of the late Karl Lagerfeld, has been dealing with womenswear since last year.) And then Sunday came a second surprisingly web out of menswear from Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada, who are co -Creative directors since early 2020. Both shows have raised new questions about who is influencing here. While brands once created products that found their way to TikTok influencers (either organically or through media partnerships and giveaways), it now looks like TikTok’s trending machine is setting the order. of the day of the track.

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Courtesy of Prada.
Courtesy of Prada.
Courtesy of Prada.

At Prada, the concept was simple: the models meandered through a deep red tunnel, designed by the OMA firm of starch specialist Rem Koolhaas – which, a few minutes after the start of the video, suddenly opened on a pristine Sardinian beach, where models splashed and danced in the water. As stated in the press release (in full), the program was about “TUNNEL OF JOY”; “EMERGENCY OF FEELINGS”; and “NORMALITY UTOPIA”. (It’s another new wave: the press release, once a place of frolicking prose, has often boiled down to a handful of vigorous words.) That is: simple pleasures. Nothing great to explain or ponder here! Just a few young people on the beach. There were cropped shorts, bobs, sheer knits, fisherman rompers, and even skort skorts, but, strangely enough, none of the instant classics we’ve come to expect from Prada, like last season’s nappa leather bombers. You know the ones that I still think about, and that Drake has already managed to get his hands on, despite the fact that they won’t be in stores for months.

Was it … the Prada boys’ hot summer? Basically, although it lacked the joy of, say, Jacquemus, who turned a relatively simple cocktail of floral shirts, tanned skin, and broad smiles into a global phenomenon. In a quote released after the show, Miuccia Prada said the collection was meant to communicate a simple and straightforward message in an overly complicated world. But the proposed idea seemed a bit too obvious, especially for Prada, who is loved precisely because of how often he chooses to take the intellectual highway.

Courtesy of Fendi.
Courtesy of Fendi.
Courtesy of Fendi.

It may be the heat of early summer. A day earlier, Fendi had her own ‘it’s hot’ moment, showing off cropped, short-sleeved blazers with cropped shorts and faded pastels. It was a bit too much of the moment – not like a dripping ice cream cone or a biting Negroni or a sloppy kiss. More like an unsatisfying kiss.

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