New York Spring 2009
New York Spring 2009

DALLAS, Aug 26, 2008 / FW/ — First, it was at the red carpet where the burning question is ‘who are you wearing?’ With the advent of streaming video, the internet played a big role. Between television and digital media, everyone can sit at the ‘front row’ in the comfort of their homes.

And then of course, one of the ‘Mad Men’ thought of the Skybox. A special place inside the tents at Bryant Park, American Express members who were lucky enough to buy the fashion week package when it went on sale, can see the show in person.

Finally, ‘celebrity watching,’ a sport by itself has also become a part of watching the front row and part of the report for fashion week. True, veteran fashion journalists like Suzy Menkes and Cathy Horyn do not mention celebrities unless he or she has reached the level of Nicole Kidman.

Still, when these journalists who sit on the highest place in the fashion totem pole are forced to report if Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are sitting front row shows that the status of the hemline is not enough to keep the fashionistas sated.

Times are changing and the fashion world is not immune to it. There has to be ‘more’ in the report than just how high or low the hemline is, how big the sleeves are, or how many buttons there are. Fashion trends are not just about colors anymore; it’s also about celebrities wearing them.

So perhaps, it is not surprising that celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Lauren Conrad put their name in clothes that they ‘supposedly’ designed. Lauren Conrad’s supporters are even happy to report that their favorite celebrity go and visit the studio at least ONE HOUR a day to check all the designs.

Everyone knows in the fashion business that designing is a full time job and that ONE HOUR a day is nowhere near enough when creating a collection. Yet, it is these celebrities who take a bow at the end of the runway show!

To their fans, it is the epitome of creativity. To fashion journos and of course serious designers, celebrity labels had made a travesty of the creative process.

Unfortunately, though we might disagree, there is no turning back to the time when only real talents like Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace and Ralph Lauren rule the catwalk. Fashion has become a sport and even fashion’s inner circle has to live with fashion labels based on a popular name and not on design talent.

But, there is hope because as we know, Mother Nature always fights back. One day, a celebrity will arrive at the scene and he or she truly has the gift of fashion design.