At a time when in Paris a flood of thousand people who are making worldwide
fashion, there, in this world as in all the others, the street gradually
imposes its law.
A priori, nothing is farther from the street than fashion: It is basically a
self-proclaimed elite diktat, often very talented, sometimes imposing real
revolution in women’s clothing (the end of crinolines and corsets, dress
above the knee, the tailored skirt, the miniskirt, the Tuxedo Jacket) or
being satisfied with changes of dominant colors, often imposed by bureaux de
style. So this winter, fashion is, it seems, mustard-colored, chocolate and
burgundy, with Chinese laces and pointed shoes.
Fashion begins in haute couture and goes down, faster and faster, more and
more elegantly, in the street.
Some technological changes will disrupt that.
First, designers are beginning to use clips to make known their collections.
Clips initially simply advertising, then become real movies, directed by
great directors and where very famous actors are starting to come to play
Then, these clips are available on the net, allowing everyone, much faster
and much better than before, to know all about them.
More importantly, it will be soon, it is already, bureaux de style
themselves, which will thus let know their choices, and those of fabric
houses, to consumers, enabling them to anticipate on the choices of
And there, everything is reversed: what was played on the music when the
clip of someone unknown was able to become a worldwide success, will be
played in the fashion world: trends, colors, ideas proposed by amateurs will
come forward and win.
The street, as everyone knows, has been heard for a long time in fashion. It
inspires fashion designers and imposes its choices. Jeans is one example.
What comes will go much further: the street will impose its tendencies,
colors and shapes, without even having to go through the filter and the
recognition of fashion decision makers.
The street will find, is already finding, new ways to communicate to the
street what it likes, to let know where and how to make the best possible
and the cheapest. It will mix, as music does, ideas from all over the world.
It will challenge the entire organization of this industry around a few
signatures, some parades, some seasons, a few trends. Without the
manufacturers being required to take the risk of launching collections to
test the desires of the public.
The street will then (in any case it is hoped for) explode a good many
codes, especially in the world so conservative of men’s clothing.
The great fashion designers will still retain a role, that of inspirers and
of avant garde.
Large firms, such as the major companies in music, will suffer.
Politicians who, more than anyone, depend on people for their existence,
should get prepared if they do not want to be, as fashion is already,
overwhelmed by the street.