LDF: Breakfast Talk.

London Design Festival. We went to a breakfast talk with Imran Amed, consultant to the fashion industry and founder of the journal The Business of Fashion. I would have liked to say the talk was mindblowing and that I learned so much, but it wouldn’t really be true. The talk was moderated by Ian King for, I think, for an audience that was completely unfamiliar with basic knowledge of the fashion industry, and perhaps even social media. Which was a little perplexing, seeing as this was a design festival and not a PTA meeting. Maybe that was that the point? In any case, Mr. Amed is an eloquent speaker, and I wish we could have gone somewhere less base than emerging luxury goods markets (China, apparently!) and the emergence of bloggers. Is that grumpy?
Amed did manage to get in some excellent points on how the industry (emerging designers and old houses alike) can, you know, harness the power of the internet. And the clash between established and new ideas on what an event like a fashion week even is. Case in point – Burberry this week live streamed their catwalk show, and had the products ready to order right away on their e-commerce site. While editors are trashing the show for being too commercial (cough, Cathy Horyn, cough), or not creative enough or not spring/summer enough, the brand designed and produced a show that was relevant for the current season, so they could sell clothes now. Is that cheating? They are seizing an opportunity, one that clashes with the norms of the industry. So how do we judge that? It’s not as glamorous as when it was behind closed doors, but fashion weeks are trade shows after all. Amed mentioned that Natalie Massenet wants fashion week to be open to the public, direct to customer. Massenet makes things happen, and that would make Burberry, boring clothes or not, ahead of the curve. An interesting set of topics that didn’t get enough love.
Above are some of our shots from LFW; scheduling, shows and clothing from Mary Katranzou’s stellar collections.

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