Opi­nions: By An­ge­lo Flac­ca­ven­to, Va­nes­sa Fried­man, An­ders Ch­ri­stian Mad­sen, Su­zy Men­kes and Sarah Mo­wer

VOGUE (Italy) - - CULTURE - By An­ge­lo Flac­ca­ven­to Wel­tan­schauung.

F iv eyear sa rewor­th fif­ty year sin fa­shion. L on g-termf ore ca­st sal­mo­st al­way­sprov et obewhol­ly inac­cu­ra­te or spec­ta­cu­lar­ly off-to­pic in the­se ca­ses, as the rea­li­ty of the si­tua­tion ex­ceeds, or sa­va­ge­ly qua­shes, any fan­ta­sy. It is the­re­fo­re hard to tel l if men’s fa­shion sho­ws will still exi­st with their re­spec­ti­ve fa­shion weeks in f ive years’ ti­me. They could be en­ti­re­ly swal­lo­wed up by co-ed sho­ws ho­sted in other ca­len­dars, or even re­pla­ced by new means and for­ma­ts.

From a nar­ra­ti­ve and stra­te­gic per­spec­ti­ve, this would scar­ce­ly be a good thing. Men’s fa­shion, whi­ch is con­strai­ned wi­thin stric­ter ma­te­rial and ico­no­gra­phic boun­da­ries com­pa­red to wo­men­swear, is re­du­ced to a me­re ap­pen­dix in coed sho­ws, shr i nking t he spa­ce to de­ve­lop pe­ne­tra­ting vi­sions that are so ne­ces­sa­ry, vi­tal and in­di­spen­sa­ble. The al­ter­na­ti­ve tools – vi­deos, per­for­man­ces and In­sta­gram po­st s – are so­me­how inef­fec­ti­ve.

The s how re­ma i ns t he per f ect me­dium, as it is the on­ly one that can tran­sform the goods in­to a so­cio­cul­tu­ral re­pre­sent at ion, act i vat i ng t hem i n a di­men­sion of en­ter t ain­ment t hat pro­du­ces a f lood of fee­lings – a sen­se of iden­tif ica­tion f ir­st of a l l.

To­day, at a ti­me when the ex­pe­rien­ce is gi­ven key im­por­tan­ce in the pro­mo­tion of any­thing, from pro­duc­ts to ae­sthe­tics, this va­li­di­ty is if pos­si­ble two­fold. The fa­shion show is an ex­pe­rien­ce to the nth de­gree, or­ga­ni­sed as a ri­tual in whi­ch the pa­thos of an­ti­ci­pa­tion is f lee­tin­gly sa­ti­sf ied by the swift per­for­man­ce, who­se con­clu­sion is ne­ver real­ly con­clu­si­ve but lea­ves us year­ning for mo­re. Worn on li­ving and mo­ving bo­dies, clo­thes co­me ali­ve on the cat­walk, going from inert ob­jec­ts to ve­hi­cles of thought, agi­ta­tion and ref lec­tion.

The ru­n­way al­so obli­ges an exer­ci­se in edi­ting that helps to struc­tu­re and shar­pen the mes­sa­ge, brea­king up in­to an abun­dan­ce of ma­te­rial and im­ma­te­rial spo­res that con­ti­nue to ger­mi­na­te for a long ti­me. La­stly, in a world that has knoc­ked do­wn e ve­ry b ar­rier, r un­ways pre­ser­ve a sem­blan­ce of ex­clu­si­vi­ty that con­sti­tu­tes an ad­ded va­lue.

Sho­ws are the­re­fo­re all but ir­re­pl ace­ta­ble, un­less de­vi­li­sh pro­duct pla­ce­ment - with fa­shion-ma­king cur­ren­tly flat­te­ned on its ho­ri­zon - ma­na­ges to sup­plant the fil­ter of pro­fes­sio­nals and rea­ch the con­su­ming pu­blic di­rec­tly via spe­ci­fi­cal­ly cal ibra­ted means. Pro­gress, ho­we­ver, is not su­ch a bru­tal and pre­dic­ta­ble com­mer­cial tran­sac­tion.

On­ly vi­sions can gra­sp and sha­pe needs, ge­ne­ra­ting cul­tu­re pre­ci­se­ly around con­sumpt ion, whi­ch, wi l l i ng or not, is the key­sto­ne of the ca­pi­ta­li­st

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