Catwalk or Cat Fight?

Posted: April 16, 2012 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives

Fashion fiends, I know your familiar with the various design reality shows.  Some  feature designers vying for the top dog title and others profile the life of celebrity stylists.  Regardless, we all thrive off the cut-throat, scissor stabbing, and design stealing drama.

In case you haven’t been watching Project Runway, this season Heidi Klum is missing.  But don’t worry—another blonde super model has replaced her.  The reasons for absence are still foggy but it probably had something to do with the huge lawsuit issued when the show decided to switch from the Bravo network to the Lifetime network.  It was rumored that Klum wanted to switch the show to a different network because Bravo’s gossipy drama driven image wasn’t what she envisioned for the show.

Whether or not that’s true, it made me think about the fashion industry’s image… Isn’t it all drama anyway?  Cat fights on the catwalk.  Well, it turns out that master narrative is wrong.  After watching all 6 episodes of The Fashion Fund on Hulu I have a new appreciation for fashion designers.

Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America started the Fashion Fund right after September 11, 2001.  Most people don’t realize but September is right when New York Fashion week begins.  Designers put all of their time and money into the collections they show during this iconic event.  After 9/11 New York Fashion week was obviously cancelled—ruining some designers financially.  This fund was set in place to prevent this.  Also to encourage American designers who are passionate and committed to the industry.

Designers who have made a name for themselves by winning this prestigious award are Prabal Gurung, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, 3.1 Philip Lim, Marchesa, Rag and Bone, Habitual, Derek Lam and my personal favorite Pamela Love.

During the first episode the president of CFDA, Diane Von Furstenburg says, “I love to see people at the beginning of their lives, that’s the moment that you have that first juice.  And that first juice will really have a major stamp on your life and on your career.  Its like the first book, the first movie, the first love, the first everything…”.  And that’s exactly the kind of idea the fashion industry is based on.  Underneath the skin of reality TV is a community of young designers who support and inspire each other’s creative aspirations.

-Sara Freund

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