When I was putting together my picks from pre-fall, I noticed that my favorite looks from both shows happened to be the same numbers: 1, 10 and 12. If my picks line up exactly, does that mean there is a formula behind the presentation of every collection? And if so, what is the formula? Exactly how many different factors add up to make one successful show? Ideally a collection should flow like a book--there should be a beginning (the opening look), a middle (a group of connected but unique looks) and an end (the closing look). The designer determines the arrangement of the looks, and they should lead seamlessly into the next. In Proenza Schouler's pre-fall presentation, there is a clear train of thought, from the collegiate pieces, to the mix of leather, to the ocean-inspired tie dye styles. *Definitely the workings of a successful formula here. Now let's consider the setting in which the collection's presented. After watching this video on Fashionair, I started to wonder just how much the set design affects the outcome of a show. And in the particular case of Marc Jacobs' S/S 09 show, does a set like that add to the show or take away from it? Are those mirrors distracting, or do they make the clothes feel more energetic and dynamic as they hop from one mirror to the next? I think the latter--set designer Stefan Beckman found a happy balance with interesting and innovative elements that weren't too extravagant. *Again, a successful formula.
The same questions apply to Chanel's S/S 10 show, which I've been thinking about since October. With a live performance by Lily Allen, a barn and a threesome in the hay, it must have been difficult to concentrate on the clothes. How much is too much, and when does it stop being about the clothes? *Probably not a very successful formula here. Other factors include models and the front row. Is a show really better when the best models walk in it? Most would say yes. It's just plain fun to see your favorite model in your favorite designer. And these days, the front row gets as much coverage as what their eyes are watching. You can determine a designer's fame by the faces who grace the best seats, but their talent? If top-tier editors, socialites and celebrities attend your show, does that mean you're a top-tier designer? So we've scientifically come up with this formula: Arrangement + Set + Models + Front Row = A Successful Show, and the dose of each is up to the professionals. Add in a fun factor, but not too much--the production should highlight the collection, not cloud it. What do you think makes a show successful?