Monocycle: Episode 39, Doldrums at Paris Fashion Week

Leandra Medine | October 7, 2016

Maybe we’re feeling fashion fatigue.

In partnership with TheRealReal.

Paris Fashion Week ended on Wednesday. I’m not entirely sure if the season felt quieter or less exciting than usual because I wasn’t there, but watching it unfold on social media and through the lens of the some of the critics who I most admire made me think about a lot of stuff. Stuff like…what actually comes first? A good collection or a good review (meaning, do the writers inform how we will feel about certain clothes, or can they speak for themselves?)

When the clothes are good enough to speak for themselves, do you ever feel that sense of just not…caring? What is that? Why do we feel that? What differentiates the designers who move the needle and inform the zeitgeist and those who just make really nice-looking clothes?

Or are we experiencing fashion fatigue? If we are, what should we do to combat it? We are definitely undergoing some version of a revolution in fashion, so maybe we just need a more positive perspective to lead the charge. It’s too soon to be so cynical, isn’t it?

Amelia makes a cameo in this episode and we definitely over intellectualize the whole damn thing (it’s what we do!) only to arrive at the simplest question of all: Did I just not feel it because I wasn’t there?

Find out by listening.

I’m Malcolm Gladwell and this is Revisionist History.

Just kidding. I’m Leandra.

Related Stories:

The Mind-Boggling Consistency of Chanel

Sunday Paris Dispatch: Balenciaga and Céline

Dispatch from Paris: Dior’s Overt Feminist Message, Saint Laurent’s Yves Is Back (But That’s About It)

Fashion Bloggers Aren’t the Problem

This podcast is sponsored by The RealReal. Use the offer code MANREPELLER to get a 20% discount on therealreal.com. Monocycle is edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander; logo illustration by Kelly Shami; Photo by Alessandro Garofalo / Indigital.tv via Vogue Runway.

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  • Candace Ourisman

    Leandra, could you throw out some names of the “old guard” writers who you respect so much? Curious about who you are referring to. Thanks!

    • Leandra Medine

      Cathy Horyn, Vanessa Friedman, Suz!

      • Candace Ourisman

        Merci!

  • Repeller chick

    Amelia, I really mean this in a kind way.. Please stop using the word “like” so much. You have so many clever thoughts and comments about all kinds of things. You don’t need the word “like”. It drags your sentences down and makes you seem less certain of what you’re saying. This is the kind of constructive critisism I tell my best friends, so they can continue on ricing amongst the stars. Wishing you all the best from Norway (loving MRP).

    • Maddy

      Hey, I think you might benefit from listening to this great podcast which drills down into the reasons behind the criticism of women’s speech and more interestingly how teenage girls have influenced the English language for hundreds of years! Leandra is actually more likely to represent future language patterns, rather than something that needs to be corrected.

      http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com/podcasts/vocal-fry-and-other-speech-trends-2.htm

      • Repeller chick

        Thank you, Maddy. I’ll check out the podcast. I didn’t mention Leandra at all. Of course the young people of today will form the language of tomorrow, who else? I don’t belive the future of language has anything to do with sex though, neither do I belive future presidents of the USA will be using the word “like” anytime soon.

        • Maddy

          Whoops, sorry got the name wrong!

  • Collections definitely speak for themselves but reviews have their own affect. It’s the same with art history. Art speaks for itself but when you have a powerful voice (as a critic) it has a culture affecting sway over how the art is accepted. Fashion is easy to not care about: great clothes? cool. Same with art. Great art? wow…moving on. These feelings are something that people who are not active participants in those worlds experience all the time. It’s easy to not care about something when you’re not absorbed in the experience of that thing. It’s easy to not care about a movie or tv show when you don’t watch it.

    I am interested in what fashion can do to MAKE people interested. A lot of people probably did not give a crap about Gucci until Michele became the creative director. The clothing might be amazing but there must be something else going on that makes people excited about it.

  • Ellie

    Okay so I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I listened and I was just reflecting on how I’ve been feeling about all the shows recently and realising I was also feeling pretty indifferent about them. I think the new obsession with runway to retail has really changed the game and, at least for me, taken the magic out of it. Instead of seeing collections which we can be excited about for next season it feels like many houses are erring on the side of caution in order to create pieces which are wearable now (and Instagramable now) but also passable as next season’s must have. Maybe as shows have become more ‘shoppable’ they’ve become less exciting? I mean, consider the difference between going to an art exhibition versus going to an art fair. An exhibition allows you to fully enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of the pieces and be excited and inspired by them whereas at an art fair, one is focussed on choosing between pieces, potentially purchasing a piece – and all the realities of affordability and investment that come with that. I know that’s a little cheesy but maybe the same thing is happening now with shows as they become more like catalogues than presentations!

  • David Saldarriaga Ochoa

    I just loved when Leandra asked Amelia like “Tell me, you poor human who have never been to a Paris Fashion Week how you feel about it?”.