Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Biggest Crime in Fashion

I've decided to take a little break from our couture-watching season to talk about my biggest pet peeve. Since New York Fashion Week started last Friday, many established high-scale designers (such as Betsy Johnson and Vera Wang) had to skip the catwalk show due to the economic crisis and guess who have taken their place? Celebrities. Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate celebrity "designers" with a passion. In fact, to even call them designers is an insult to the fashion industry. These are people who have absolutely no training or skills to create fashion. The most recent one to do his collection is Justin Timberlake for his clothing line "William Rast." For the sake of this blog, I am going to critique his Spring/Summer 2009 collection rather than his recent one. When doing interviews after the runway show, Justin said that the inspiration for his collection was Southern looks. While I like Justin Timberlake as a singer and as a producer, he is one of the biggest talents to come along since Michael Jackson, as a "designer," he is a joke. These clothes are as basic and as commercial as it gets without any shred of individuality or artistry in them. To be a designer and to make clothes are two different thing. Anybody can make clothes as long as you have fabric and a sewing machine. For someone to be a designer, you have to make something as simple as clothing into pieces of art, like a Picasso. You cannot be a designer/singer/actor. To be a good designer requires all your energy and attention -- every single day. Being a designer is not a hobby or a pass-time; it is a full time career, but people like Justin don't understand that. They just see it as another avenue to make money and inflate their bank accounts. It especially angers me when the quality of work and the price don't match. For a designer outfit, even though you are spending thousands of dollars, you know that it's high quality. Designers use the best fabrics and sometimes things are hand-painted and hand-sewn by a professional seamstress, not a machine. Take for example, this black blazer on Justin's site that is 97% polyester, but worth $328, while you can get this same blazer from Suzy Shier's website which is 100% polyester for $30!! Does Mr. Timberlake expect the buying public to believe that the 3% elastane is worth the $298 difference?? No, what he is expecting is the fact that it is a jacket from his clothing line that represents the difference. That's what truly angers me -- the fact that they are simply cashing in on their notoriety and insulting a true craft. Hopefully the recession will weed out the fake designers from the real ones. To watch the William Rast "Fashion" show, click here.

UPDATE: elastane is another word for spandex

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