Some things take time. If you plant a seed in the ground, a flower will not instantly bloom out of it. It will need time to grow until it can reveal itself to the world in its full beauty. The same goes for creativity. You cannot push or force it, as muses tend to come as they please and just like your shadow, no meter how fast you chase them, they will escape. As Raf Simons said, ideas need incubation time and sadly it seems like the fast world of nowadays fashion doesn’t care.
We live in fast times. It seems like life has switched to the fourth gear and we all need to keep up. In terms of fashion, speed has (at least) doubled. Designers used to present two seasons, logically divided into fall/winter and spring/summer. Now there’s also resort, which I can’t quite understand the need for. There are also the “pre” collections, like pre fall and pre spring. Those tend to confuse me even more than resort, but I guess that making smaller collections more frequently was fashion’s way of dealing with the economy crisis. There is one more that we must remember, the oldest of all, her majesty haute couture. So, while producing all these collections in one year, how is a designer suppose to manage being creative with so many projects. Raf Simons departing Dior puts limelight this problem. Here’s how Mr. Simons explained it :”When you do six shows a year, there’s not enough time for the whole process,” he told Cathy Horyn in an interview for System magazine, used on the Business of Fashion. “Technically, yes – the people who make the samples, do the stitching, they can do it. But you have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important. When you try an idea, you look at it and think, Hmm, let’s put it away for a week and think about it later. But that’s never possible when you have only one team working on all the collections.”
He goes on talking about how they established two teams and divided the work, hoping that it would help. But, his hectic schedule was still not getting better. After a few years of stress and not finding the solution Raf quit. “Technically speaking, it works. Does it work for me emotionally? No, because I’m not the kind of person who likes to do things so fast. I think if I had more time, I would reject more things, and bring other ideas or concepts in… There’s never enough time. You get a tension. I know how to pull out from this in my personal life. We go and look at nature for three hours. It’s heaven. We go to a bakery and buy a bag of stuff and lie in the grass. Sublime. But how to do that in the context of your professional life? You buy a house and you start doing pottery or something?”
We must understand him as a human and as a designer. If fashion focuses on speed it might pay the price with killing creativity. I hope that instead, we all decide to slow down a bit. Brands will maybe focus on doing less but being better, and we will focus on buying less but buying better. It seems like both the industry and the customer still have a lot to learn in order to make
fashion world better.