Spring Snow in DallasDALLAS, Mar 21, 2010 / FW/ — Today is the first day of spring and usually here in Dallas, the flowers are already in bloom and the trees have new growth. But not this time; this year, Dallasites were greeted with 6 – 8 inches of snow and freezing temperatures.

Living here in Dallas, you get used to hot summers and winters with the temperature cold enough to layer clothing and 3 days of snow to kill the bugs saving us from a bug invasion during summer.

Still, other than springtime snow a rare occurrence in Dallas, there really is no reason to write about it, right? But, then again, this is also one of those moments wherein a change from what is deemed normal brings an epiphany as we are forced to examine what is the norm.

And, as a fashion journalist, most of my thoughts are obviously about fashion and first thing that came to mind is how fashion week in general and fashion shows in particular have become a form of entertainment.

As a journalist, it has never ceased to amaze me that news about fashion falls in the “Entertainment” section category. And, if you go to the search engines, be it in Google, Yahoo or Bing, fashion is a subsection of Entertainment. No wonder most people see fashion week as entertainment!

In actuality, that way of thinking is farthest from the truth. Fashion week is a trade event and a fashion shows is the setting wherein the press and buyers are shown what are coming up. This means that retail buyers can order for their stores while journalists and photographers do their part in making the public aware of what is coming. If we follow this timeline, then the true big event is when the collection hits the stores.

A long time ago, before mass communication, this is the norm. I will go out on a limb and say this is true until the 1960s, even the mid-1970s. Things changed dramatically when cable TV was introduced. With 24-hour TV and more channels to choose from, fashion became part of the programming. Case in point, at CNN, we saw the rise of the long running “Style with Elsa Klensch” that was broadcasted from 1980 to 2000.

But, as we all know, producing a TV show is very expensive. So, though Elsa Klensch has access to a lot material, she can only show a portion of it on television. And, it was never on demand and to the minute reporting. Like glossies, there is a lag. In short, the big event continued to be the arrival of the collections in stores.

Enter the Internet, which turned out to be a game changer for the whole world and fashion is one of the many industries that has been changed forever by the World Wide Web.

Without relating what had happened since the dot com boom, it’s eventual bust and its recovery, it is safe to say that today, like most everything else, fashion is on demand and available on your fingertips.

But, a more important premise is that the web, which was thought of in the beginning as a 24×7 library, had become a 24×7 form of entertainment! How did we arrive here?

Think of the First Gulf War, when George H.W. Bush was the U.S. President. It was nicknamed a “TV war” because we can see real battles being fought right on our living room! I remember being glued on CNN just to see what was happening. As innocuous as that was meant to be, it also changed the way we saw news.
When the second Gulf War ensued, when George W. Bush was in power, it became an “Internet War.” We saw war on demand, and reporters were “embedded” with the U.S. fighting force. Were we seeing news, or were we seeing entertainment?

I asked myself those questions in the first day of spring when instead of flowers and sunshine I got snow and freezing temperatures. I enjoyed the snow, I enjoyed my solitary walk in the park and most of all, I truly enjoyed the short span of time when though I am a fashion journalist, I was able to discuss some philosophical things.

Photos by Mari Davis