Is This the Future of Fashion Week?

Vancouver Fashion Week, which just wrapped last month, serves as a test case for what all FWs could be. 

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Dale Rollings, Kerp Photography, design by Dana Tepper

Earlier this month, a verdict came down from Boston Consulting Group, which had been charged with investigating and reinvigorating New York Fashion Week: Do whatever you want. Lol.

While the study's suggestions—timelier presentations, biannual consumer-targeted activations, the whole "buy now, wear now" thing—might not have been the silver bullet all the burnt-out designers and editors were hoping for, they did officially grant fashion the freedom to change. The laissez-faire direction NYFW might go in as a result? Vancouver's already there.

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The city has been putting on its own Fashion Week for more than a decade now, and its attitude is still far more bricolage than Bryant Park (RIP). Take a single venue, a drag queen emcee, a rotating cast of designers of both women's and menswear, throw in an open bar, and open it to the public. Raucous and full-on Party Time, to be sure, but can it actually work for a multi-billion-dollar industry?

As someone who's done the NYFW shuffle—and who attended Vancouver Fashion Week for the first time last month—it kind of, weirdly, maybe could

The production was a bit too prone to delays and at times the proceedings leaned perhaps a bit too egalitarian (show-goers mobbed the runway between every designer), but when it comes down to it, isn't that what fashion is to the public? Fun, over-the-top entertainment? 

To the press and buyers, not having to contend with traffic and a schedule during which seven different, equally important events occupy the same time slot was probably the biggest positive, but the convenience of re-see appointments (a chance for industry folk to get a closer, more intimate look at a line) in the same building the day after shows came in a close second.

With some polish and some modification to accommodate many more designers, the Vancouver model could conceivably solve NYFW's problems—at least the logistical-nightmare part. The point now is that we shouldn't be afraid to start over, to rethink The Way Things Have Always Been Done. Sometimes, the simplest plan is best.

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To get an inside sense of VFW, see my Snaps from the @MarieClaireMag Snapchat account here:

Follow Marie Claire on Instagram for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV.

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