The Fashion for Good Museum opens a new exhibition “Fashion Week: A New Era” on May 20. Every year during Fashion Week the latest fashion is shown on catwalks in Paris, Milan and New York and other metropoles across the globe. This iconic event has a major impact on the fashion industry and on our own wardrobes. In ‘Fashion Week: A New Era’, the Fashion for Good Museum unpacks the Fashion Week, delving into its past, present and future. View historic looks from the runways of Balenciaga, Versace, Moschino and many more; discover the innovative work of Dutch fashion designer Ronald van der Kemp and digital fashion house The Fabricant. ‘Fashion Week: A New Era’ celebrates fashion through the years and explores how this phenomenon influenced the fashion industry and what the future of Fashion Weeks will look like.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF FASHION WEEK WORLDWIDE?
The new exhibition from the Fashion for Good Museum lets visitors discover how ‘Fashion Week’ began at the end of the 19th century as intimate salons and which clothes were on display. Travel through the timeline to get a closer look at the highlights and the iconic runway looks from the likes of Balenciaga, Versace and Moschino.
STREET STYLE PHOTO WALL
Not only are the fashion shows themselves a highlight, but also the visitors of those shows have become part of Fashion Week. On the streets outside of the show locations, photographers shoot Fashion Week visitors in their most beautiful outfits. Street style photography is an essential part of the exhibition, and the Fashion for Good Museum has selected works from New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham on display. He photographed the first Paris Fashion Week, but in the 1970s he became best known for his street photography which captured the intimate atmosphere around fashion shows, the visitors on the street and the goings on behind the scenes. Become part of the ‘fashion scene’ yourself; pose at the photo wall and shoot your own ‘street style photography’.
LET’S GET DIGITAL
Due to the COVID pandemic, a lot of activities shifted online, including shopping and work. The fashion industry also continued to develop online, physical shows were cancelled and new creative presentations took their place. In ‘Fashion Week; A New Era’, discover how runways, shows and entire collections look virtually. Attend digital shows from The Fabricant or Tommy Hilfiger (Decentralands’ Metaverse Fashion Week) and explore what a fully digital Fashion Week looks like (Helsinki Fashion Week). Finally, you can also enter the metaverse yourself. In the new expo you will find the Digital Village installation where you can build your own digital model and have it walk in a digital fashion show designed by you.
THE FUTURE IS SUSTAINABLE
For all the praise of the fashion novelties on display during Fashion Week, there is also criticism of major fashion shows as sustainability is becoming indispensable in the design and production of clothing. Lakmé Fashion Week (India) raises awareness of this and has been organising a Sustainable Fashion Day during the fashion week for more than five years. ‘Fashion Week; A New Era’ features several sustainable looks from a collaboration between the Fashion for Good Museum and The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) with Lakmé Fashion Week. The looks are created by fashion designers and start-ups working on groundbreaking sustainable innovations. Discover, for example, how agricultural waste can be converted into a new material or how carbon dioxide is converted into a type of dye.
WHY THIS EXHIBITION?
What effect does Fashion Week have on consumer buying behaviour? In recent decades, the concept of fashion week has changed and fashion weeks have grown in parallel with the ongoing commercialisation of the fashion industry. This results in growing marketing budgets at fashion houses and clothing brands who organise ever larger fashion shows. Products are copied directly from the catwalk by ‘fast fashion‘ brands and in addition to spring/summer and autumn/winter collections, evermore collections are added. Consumers are used to this rapid output of new products in stores, buying more clothing and swiftly discarding them for the next trend.
The unsustainable nature of this fast pace has been widely criticised: collections become irrelevant once fashion week is over and the industry is already looking to the next season. On the other hand, fashion weeks have become more democratic, images are immediately shared online, everyone can get an unfiltered look of the shows and can form their own opinions about it.
Discover the evolution of the Fashion Week in the new exhibition “Fashion Week: A New Era” from May 20, 2022 to October 2022 at the Fashion for Good Museum.
Fashion for Good Museum is located at Rokin 102 in Amsterdam. The museum is open from Wednesday to Monday from 10am to 6pm (closed on Tuesdays only). *free to visit with a Museum card