Hi people! It’s currently 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9th and I’m sitting in the lobby of my hotel in Paris after having completed my final review from this season’s fashion month, and something that has been coming up a lot for me while I write is the question of who reads the reviews from fashion week.
I was sitting at a show on Friday afternoon, sandwiched between two print editors and both were maniacally typing into the notepads of their phones, spitting out ideas from the previous show while we waited for another one to start. I looked at them and wondered how many of us actually read those reviews. Whether they’re even being written with you or me in mind. Are they just for the other editors? The designers and publicists? Or do they think about us, too? More than that, I wonder, are you genuinely interested in what critics have to say about the clothes?
I know that for Man Repeller, and more acutely for me, I write reviews because they help me compile my thoughts on a collection. Those thoughts are never actually just about the clothes — they’re about the attitude, the energy, the lifestyle and conversation that the clothes support. Those are all nuances that affect my purview: how I see the world, interact with the world, and ultimately want to engage with it.
But I wonder if that comes across. If there is a genuine interest from the general public to read about the opinions of a single individual on the photos that might very well do the talking for themselves. I’ve been obsessively reading reviews since I was like, 16. I would wait and refresh Style.com on my browser waiting to hear what Tim Blanks thought of X, Y and Z shows. But sometimes it felt alienating. Like I wasn’t educated enough to actually understand what he was talking about. The reference points were above me and that made me feel little. So when I started reviewing, my goal was to bring a point of view to the public. Make high fashion seem consumable from a human perspective. Who knows if I’ve succeeded, or whether there is even an interest from a public point of view to hear about the shows — which is why I’m curious about your relationship with fashion week.
Do you read the reviews? Do you care about them? How do you consume fashion week?
Illustration and GIF by Max Dower of Unfortunate Portrait.