Behind the Scenes, Fashion is Changing

by Mandy Murphy

Just as fashion is constantly changing, the entire fashion industry itself is undergoing a transformation. Two big trends we have our eyes on here at Fashion Week Online are an uptick in interest in menswear, and a renewed appreciation for artisanal craftsmanship.

First, Quick News Roundup

If you’ve been following fashion news of late, you’ve seen the announcement that Scott Sternberg’s Band of Outsiders has disbanded. In other news, supposedly IMG is struggling to find a new automotive sponsor, but if there’s one thing the press can be relied upon, it’s to make much ado about little.

And in a little bit of brighter light, Victoria’s Secret’s live televised show will be returning to New York in 2015.

That’s the quick “fashion news roundup.”

Two Trends to Watch

But what’s happening behind the scenes?

First, we’re now witnessing the rise of menswear. Remember how not long ago, being a man who cared about clothing earned you the moniker “metrosexual” (a word that never really carried much meaning, except perhaps a shade of scorn)?

Not long ago, being a man who cared about clothing earned you the moniker “metrosexual.”

In 2015, “menswear fashion websites” like Mr. Porter are commonplace. Designers like Trina Turk have also made moves to capture the menswear market. At Turk’s site for men, the appropriately named “Mr. Turk,” beautiful Euro-styled swimwear is available for men who aren’t afraid to show a little skin.

But it doesn’t stop with retail. The CFDA is holding its first-ever menswear only shows this summer, to feature star menswear designers such as John Varvatos.

Milan, Paris and London already have dedicated “men’s fashion weeks” (actually lasting 3-5 days).

Our prediction is that more and more men will continue to catch the “fashion bug” in the United States (as they did many years ago in Italy, Paris and London). Dressing well won’t be an anomaly; increasingly it will be the norm. (And we don’t mean square-toed black shoes and poor-fitting blue button-downs.)

But that’s not the only change we’re seeing.

The second trend is a return to artisanal craftsmanship. Disturbing issues have been raised about the cruel effects of cheap “insta-fashion.” One of the solutions is renewed respect for hand-crafted clothing, which lasts longer and is also (not surprisingly), more beautiful.

One of the solutions is renewed respect for hand-crafted clothing, which lasts longer and is also (not surprisingly), more beautiful.

Films like Men of the Cloth explore the artisanal craftsmanship of yesteryear, while hinting at signs of its rebirth.

And if you think artisanal menswear is confined to suits and ties, witness edgy, handmade tailoring from an artist like Simone Cecchetto of A1923, or Boris Bidjan Saberi.

The future of fashion is being created now.

And as far as we can see, the future is bright.

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FWO