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09/03/2018

AS FASHION MOVES TOWARDS A SEASONLESS MODEL

AS FASHION MOVES TOWARDS A SEASONLESS MODEL, HAS 'SEASONAL INSPIRATION' BECOME OBSOLETE?

Before he presented his Fall 2018 collection during New York Fashion Week in February, designer Dennis Basso revealed that his inspiration for the season was "today's woman." Basso does design primarily for women and it is, indeed, today, so this seems to make sense. Elsewhere, Jonathan Simkhai noted he was inspired by the slightly more abstract concept of "inner fortitude" (#same), while Chromat referenced the aesthetic of a kayaking trip and Raf Simons explored drugs and addiction, as well as their consequences. When Noon by Noor designers Noor Rashid Al Khalifa and Haya Mohammed Al Khalifa were asked to name their influence for the season, the duo responded, simply: "captivating."

For those who pay attention to such things, the ritual of fashion designers announcing their seasonal inspiration — regularly collected in slideshows on sites like WWD and The Cut, outlined in show notes and assessed in runway reviews — can be entertaining, often pairing well with a snarky aside about the lofty ambitions of creative types. But, when designers are most successful in contextualizing their frames of mind by sharing what motivates them creatively, it can help us understand the ways in which fashion reflects what's happening around us in a broader way, giving what we wear an elevated sense of importance and lending a bit more relevance to the Fashion Week rigamarole, if not the entire industry.

And yet, as the business of fashion continues to evolve, the importance of having a distinct seasonal inspiration may be sliding further down the list of priorities for today's savviest designers.

To be fair, certain fashion talents have proven better equipped to articulate seasonal inspiration than others. Simons, Miuccia Prada and Alexander McQueen are often referenced as creative leads who understand (or, in the case of McQueen, understood) how to translate disparate muses from season to season into clothing that is of a particular time and place, but still feels like an extension of their overall body of work. Among other things, this way of working invited opportunities to create memorable runway shows.

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