Most of what I know about fashion didn’t come from magazines, but from obsessively watching Style With Elsa Klensch on CNN. From the mid-80s through the early 2000s (the show, which ran for 21 years, went off the air in 2001), Klensch taught me about the titans of 80s fashion (Claude Montana, Sonia Rykiel, Christian Lacroix), the Japanese masters--and how to pronounce their names (Rei Kawakubo, Junya Watanabe, Issey Miyake), and the designers who would eventually become huge stars (including a pasty and bespectacled young talent named Marc Jacobs).
It’s kind of hard to imagine a show like this existing now, much less on CNN. Style was a combination of runway footage and long backstage interviews, not just quick soundbites and clips mashed together, which is often the way fashion is covered on most news channels these days, if they cover it at all.
“Designers see the 90s as a decade of challenge.” She didn’t even see grunge coming.
By the time I started covering fashion week back in 2008, Elsa Klensch wouldn’t have even recognized it; since her heyday, fashion shows became less about the fashion industry and more an excuse to wear seasonally inappropriate shoes.
And in the last year or two, it’s changed even more. In some ways, for the good: More designers live-stream their shows (everyone gets a good seat!), and beauty brands send images and face charts of hair and makeup looks mere hours after a show has ended.
Some, not so good: There are a lot more of us now (“us” meaning beauty editors) and we’re all clamoring for the same information. Interviews with key hair and makeup people are done in large groups, and they pretty much tell the same story over and over. That makes it difficult to get anything truly original. Also, designers are starting to crack down on what media outlets they want backstage.
Why am I bringing this up now? Because this is time of year that invitations for fashion week, which runs September 4-11, start going out. So here are some questions for you, because this is the first season that xoVain will be covering fashion week, and I don't want to serve up the same information that everyone else will be serving:
• Do you care about fashion week?
• If you do, what should xoVain focus on?
• What designers do you love?
• Are hair and makeup artists interesting to you?
Tell us all of your fashion-y feelings, and any other type of feelings you are having right now, in the comments.