By Nadine Kam
Associated Press photosTwo designs by Jean-Paul Gaultier shown Jan. 27 during the Spring 2010 Haute Couture Shows in Paris.
While the 2010 spring French haute couture collections had the spotlight this week, everywhere you look you’ll see a different season in play. Spring 2010 ready-to-wear collections are arriving in stores, and while that’s fine for Hawaii, it may be a couple of months before the weather warms elsewhere in the country to the point the spring collections are deemed wearable. By then, we’ll already be into the summer phase of the collections.
Meanwhile, any time of year, you can check Style.com (it’s even easier and quicker with the iPhone app) to see the entire collection of every major designer, from seasons past, present and future.
Style.com photos Loving the richness of Lanvin’s pre-fall 2010 collection, which began with designer Alber Elbaz asking, “Can we introduce some dream into daytime?”
For now, we can check out pre-fall collections, and by the end of the next month, the entire fall season will be online. The time warp is enough to make a person’s head spin.It used to be easier to stay in-season, when we had a one-time peek at the next season, then promptly forgot about it until just prior to the time the clothing actually arrived in stores. These days, we’re so attune to what’s coming up next that it’s almost impossible to stay in the moment. By the time the next season’s pieces actually arrive in stores, we’re already burnt out from having had access to the images for five months. It seems the Internet and that instant access has rendered the old retail system somewhat out of sync with the instant-gratification age. The only thing that would keep them in sync is weather. Fall’s heavy fabrics and dark colors don’t really fly in springtime. But in Hawaii, spring styles are suitable all year round, so when they’re shown in the fall it makes sense to have them available.I first noticed the confusion when talking to international makeup artists, who, like the designers, work seasons ahead and, fresh from next season’s shows, often can’t remember the current colors. They tend to be more excited about the next season, the one they are currently working with, than the one current to consumers, which for the makeup artists is so six months ago.
I would wear ANYTHING from Vera Wang’s pre-fall 2010 collection now!
Here’s a link to my blog post about how one designer, Norma Kamali, is responding to the changes by going directly to the public and having her pieces immediately available after her shows. Christian Siriano also made a budget capsule collection of his spring line immediately available after September’s shows.Designers with reliable manufacturers in place will be able to deal with the change in trying to reach eager and fickle consumers first. It’s also a development retailers will need to start thinking about now as more designers follow suit. There’s no reason to believe they won’t.