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. 
- 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 = 
1. The general direction in which something tends to move.
2. A general tendency or inclination. See Synonyms at tendency.
3. Current style; vogue: the latest trend in fashion.

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...


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