Fashion is a contrary business, continually evolving and often breaking it’s previous rules. The last ten years or so have brought about massive change, due to the influence of social media and e-commerce. The industry used to be a closed shop, only allowing accredited insiders through it’s doors, but it’s now more open and democratic. Those without tickets can watch the shows streamed live online, and street style is a big influence on designers. The outsiders are not only allowed in, but have an effect on the clothes strutting down the runway.
Even the most basic formula for how trends emerge is changing. It once trickled down from the high-end labels to the cheaper stores, but now the high street is leading the way and creating trends of its own. Topshop Unique is one of the hottest tickets in London and H&M Studio is a major player in Paris, with the the brand’s latest show making a bold statement. The collection was inspired by Swedish folk dress and juxtaposed with sharp tailoring, faux snakeskin, pinstripes and cowboy boots. The models diversified a little from the usual suspects of skinny teenagers who populate most shows. Ashely Graham, Andreja Pejic, Amber Valetta and Pat Cleveland made the cast more diverse and interesting. 50 of the pieces will be available to buy in-store in September. Perhaps the presence of Topshop and H+M on the runway will drive up overall prices in store, but within a heartbeat the system will change again and go in yet another direction.