>> Guerilla, flash-mob type fashion shows in any centralised fashion week locations are par for course. They are the perfect venues for parading your wares unannounced and holding people's attention (although it's not necessarily sustained). At the Lincoln Centre in New York, these parades are pretty much two a penny. Some good, some horrifically bad. Andrea Diodati, a NY-based artist/designer behind label Electric Lovelight, staged a mini Occupy protest a few days ago that got my attention. At least, enough to ask Diodati why she was doing this. She said she was protesting against the prohibitive costs of showing at fashion week as part of the struggle of an independent designer. Her point was a valid one and potent especially in New York, where you can basically buy your way on to the schedule, resulting in a three hundred and fifty plus show jammed schedule that no singular human being could or ever want to possibly cover in its entirity. Indie designers like Diodati may not get as raw a deal all over the world and LFW is about to begin where show sponsorship based on merit is very much alive and well but Occupy as a theme to link with fashion has definitely been at the forefront of my mind, especially when commentors during the August riots were rather disparaging towards me for even deigning to talk about fashion at a time when it seemed the least tactful to do so.
I was wondering when Occupy's movement in the political/economic world would find its way transplanting itself to fashion, an industry of inequality, that is so arbritary that frankly, I'm too bewildered to even question why things are, the way they are. Diodati's protest can all too easily lead you to go down the slippery road of drawing parallels between the Occupy movement and fashion, until you do wonder in amidst the throng of fashion weeks, is this fair? Well, this is THE fashion week to believe in meritocracy so this post isn't a sour bum note to begin London Fashion Week with, but rather one of optimisim at the level that Diodati's work exudes. Alright, it's all a little Meadham Kirchhoff-y, Keisuke Kanda-esque, Harajuku/dolly-kei. There'll be those that appreciate her work though and she probably doesn't need to wave a cardboard sign around the money-talks fashion stomping ground of Lincoln Centre to garner attention.