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article imageFashion industry needs to adapt to global market Special

By Tim Sandle     May 13, 2016 in Entertainment
London - The legacy of Alexander McQueen, the difference between fashion (as art) and mass consumption, and how seasonality is out in a global marketplace were hot topics of discussion at a talk at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
One year on from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Savage Beauty exhibition (into the life and works of Alexander McQueen, as reviewed by Digital Journal), the museum held a discussion panel with some leading people from the fashion industry.
Alexander McQueen was a British fashion designer and couturier. He was trained on Saville Row in London and went onto work with the fashion house Givenchy, before forming his own iconic label. McQueen committed suicide in 2010.
The panel, on May 13, 2016, included Business of Fashion's Tim Blanks in conversation with Shaun Leane and Trino Verkade of the Sarabande Foundation. Also included were designer Craig Green and photographer Nick Knight. The Sarabande Foundation is named after the McQueen’s 2007 Spring/Summer collection and it exists to sponsor and promote young creative minds.
The guest panel at the V&A Museum  discussing the legacy of McQueen.
The guest panel at the V&A Museum, discussing the legacy of McQueen.
The panel discussed several themes. The first was an overview of McQueen’s legacy. While illuminating, of more interest was a discussion about fearless approach. Could, the panel discussed, a new fashion designer emerge and be allowed to experiment "fearlessly" or is the corporate drive greater nowadays and the pressures more intense on fashion designers to continually event a string of high-street wares?
This connected with a second discussion point — what is the difference between fashion and couture, and between fashion and mass market clothes? The consensus here was that fashion is art and on an equal level with any piece of sculpture or painting, and what appears on the catwalk is never intended to replicate what someone will wear everyday, but rather to inspire the creative spark for the development of high-street clothing. Here it was put forward that McQueen's work will still be regarded as 'art' in 300 years time.
A third issue debated is how the fashion world has had to adapt in relation to the global market and social media. With the global market, the concept of seasonality is fading since winter in New York is not winter in Shanghai. With social media, most of the panel welcomed the democratic features of social media (such as putting ideas out onto Instagram). However, concerns were also expressed that an artistic element of fashion could be negated in preference to an image of "Kim Kardasian in street clothing."
Some works by Alexander McQueen on display during the discussion.
Some works by Alexander McQueen on display during the discussion.
The debate was lively and thoughtful, and raised important points about the role of fashion in both the digital and global age.
More about Alexander mcqueen, Fashion, Clothes, victoria and albert museum
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