BoF – AW11, the season that was

Imran Amed of The Business of Fashion always provides a great overview from an industry point of view on the catwalk season that was.

Just a week post Paris, and his autumn/winter 2011/12 round-up is in.

With the Galliano story dominating headlines around the world, both within fashion circles and out, it’s unsuprising Amed’s intro starts with somewhat of a “bitter” note. “Looking back, several of the most salient themes from this round of fashion weeks involve unsavoury behaviour, gossip and highly unprofessional comments from some of the industry’s most important figures,” he says.

He does however go on to highlight  the clothes (focusing on outerwear and prints), the growth of consumer participation and high profile clients in shows, the role of immediacy versus exclusivity (one of my personal favourite debate points at present), and the growing intensity of street style “paparazzi”.

“Think before we tweet”, is a particularly relevant point for this blog. It reads:

It seemed like just another fashion month, and then, with the high-profile meltdown of John Galliano, everything changed in a matter of hours. Soon, the fashion gossip mill was in a frenzy, turbocharged by Twitter which made the whole situation more ugly as the days went by and speculation about Galliano’s successor intensified after he was first suspended, and ultimately dismissed by LVMH.

A tweet by Derek Blasberg from backstage at the Katy Perry concert in Paris, citing an anonymous source which ‘confirmed’ the widespread rumour that Riccardo Tisci would be named Galliano’s successor set off further speculation on websites and blogs, who sometimes took Mr. Blasberg’s comments as though they had come straight from an official Dior press release. I found at least one website that took the Tisci rumour and reported it as fact, without any mention of the source at all.

But Mr. Galliano wasn’t alone. Rumours about the futures of Stefano Pilati, Hannah McGibbon, and Christophe Decarnin dogged designers and lit up the internet throughout Paris Fashion Week, creating a virtual feeding frenzy of immense proportions. We were an industry feeding on ourselves.

So dear fellow members of the fashion Twitterati, let’s think before we tweet. Careers and businesses can be impacted by what may seem like an innocent bit of speculation on Twitter, but can quickly turn into boldfaced headlines on major fashion websites, a hugely destabilising force at the most critical moments during the fashion calendar. We are all still learning how to use this powerful tool responsibly.

Check out the rest of the BoF post, here: Autumn/winter 2011 – the season that was