The spring 2012 collections of Tory Burch (was a rumor but a source has confirmed to us), Marchesa (according to a tweet by Tabitha Simmons) and Timo Weiland (from the horse’s mouth) will be shown on the backs of walking models instead of standing ones. Could this be a bigger trend or does it just mean that these three particular labels have outgrown the presentation model?
Presentations saw an increase in popularity in recent years, especially in New York and among less established designers. They allow buyers and editors to go in and out over a 1-2 hour period instead of committing to a specific time for a runway show that could go late and/or conflict with another one. With so many collections to see in so little time, a healthy balance of presentations and runway shows can make a show-goer’s day a lot smoother (unless those presentations are all taking place at Milk at the same time).
Essentially, presentations cater to the attendees whereas with runway shows, the attendees are essentially catering to the designers and doing unspeakable things like riding the subway to get to their seat in time.
That’s not to say that shows are necessarily better than presentations. While runway shows tend to be more of a spectacle and may make more of an impact, I’ve heard several editors express a preference for presentations because it’s easier to see the clothes up close.
Staging a runway show is more symbolic–like a designer has really made it when their collection is so unmissable that a crowd of important people will make it a point to see it at a specific time. Runway shows are also an indication of commercial success since they typically require more money, planning and man power than presentations.
So, are these three designers runway show material? Marchesa’s gorgeous presentations have become celebrity-filled events that are not to be missed. It’s unlikely that will change once the switch is made to runway format. Tory Burch’s overall lifestyle brand is getting bigger and bigger and her ready-to-wear is getting more attention and critical praise. It totally makes sense that she would do a runway show at this point. Timo Weiland, while less of a household name, improves and matures so significantly each season and always attracts new followers. They’re in a good position to become more established and a runway show could help them get to that level.