piece of cloth.
Monday, 22 February 2010
"Edit-edit-edit-edit!" Carine Roitfeld
Fashion Editor. Editing fashion. What on Earth does that mean? many friends tend to ask me (those not working in fashion, naturally). What stylists do, is quite comprehensible. But what editors actually do during the shows, and what might seem as doing nothing or easy, is still quite unclear.
Fashion editors do exactly the same as book editors or film editors; book editors go through the words and phrases of an author, and where necessary will cut and paste or ask the author to rewrite bits. A film editor goes through all filmed material and cuts and pastes the pieces into the actual movie after having cut a considerable amount of film.
A fashion editor (a good one) sees a collection and does the same: he/she cuts out most of the showed pieces and what's left are the most outstanding pieces from the most outstanding designers based on:
- CUT: it shows if a designer has the skills it takes to design clothes or if he/she's more of a stylist. In the latter case, a designer will design recognizable pieces, not outstanding in cut and just throw them in the mix and either make it happen or not. Outstanding designers are the ones though, who know how to cut the perfect
piece of cloth.
piece of cloth.
- NEWNESS: fashion people see hundreds and hundreds collections a year. Most of them are utterly bored, while most collections are just plane, or bad. Editors need newness, something exciting every season. This can be the theme, the cut, the styling, the color, but something need to give it that newness, which makes editors want to have it (we are all suckers for the newest and hottest thing...).
- RELEVANCY: fashion, many people say, is superficial. But it also reflects what's going on in our society, the world we live in, the economic times we're either celebrating or trying to survive. And the season of course. Little fluffy dresses by a day-wear brand for winter might be beautiful to look at, but aren't that practical in reality.
- TOGETHERNESS: a collection needs to be a collection of clothes which as a whole makes sense. This is were the word fashion designer changed into creative director over the past two decades. A designer can create incredible pieces, but what he needs today, to be taken seriously, is creative vision.
- CONTINUITY: does a designer follow whatever trend? Or is there continuity and an actual formation or existence of a specific stamp, signature? Building a brand is one of the main reasons why this is important, while customers or potential customers need to know and want to know what they're buying into...
All of this, is taken into consideration, to decide if a collection is a hit or a failure.
Then, there comes the other part of the job: spotting the trends. This needs, like the first part, a well trained eye. If you believe the magazines, there are countless trends every season. This of course isn't true.
A trend =
A fashion trend is a piece of cloth, a specific style, a certain fabric use, cut, color or print, which is spotted at many different shows, and will continue in the seasons to come. For many years, designers and brands like MARC JACOBS, PRADA, and BALECIAGA, are ahead of the entire fashion pack by always setting a trend. Since a few seasons, BALMAIN joined these three, but the most exciting and mind blowing of all, is Phoebe Philo, who recently returned to the high end fashion industry, and presented two collections for CELINE, both widely copied by her colleagues.
Fashion editors for newspapers, like Cathy Horyn and Suzy Menkes, approach fashion from a slightly different angle, then editors for fashion magazines, where there is a lot of commercial thinking involved. Meaning, magazine editors have less freedom, while their pay check depends on advertisers. Fashion directors and stylists take all the above in consideration, but will be more focused on the photogenic pieces.
Back to editing...