Prada FW08 | Fallen Shadows

Thursday, January 11, 2007

There's no such thing called TASTE in this city.

HK's fashion reality check
Fashion scene in Hong Kong is dead, period.
People just don't dress up and have no dress sense, Japanese street style is as influential as ever, when looking around, all you see is hiphop oversized loose silhouette (tee & jeans combo, a bomber accessorized w/ a cap), pairing sneakers; or some of them might wear Dior Homme/ Raf Simons *inspired* gears, i.e. black jacket & black jeans, white shirt, sweater & tie. Like many cities in the world, Hong Kong is a neat city where is being polluted by Amercianization, yet not as neat as freaky Tokyo tho, SAD!!!

New means Good?!
Since HK is not so much of a fashion city per se, not anymore, when people thought or assumed it is one, why do we have so many brands under the sun available in the market? you may ask. It really is a catch 22 question, variety equals not selective, thus led to insteabilty on general taste, if there's such a thing here in town. However, to this city: New means Good. What people do here to support the fashion merchanding system is what we call Blind Shopping, they have no clue whatsoever as long as it's branded & new & been featured, or as long as they are being carried by major boutiques (that means taste to them). The result from this equation is the major success to businessmen who earn lotsa profit from high end pret-a-porter. Real business is driven by shoes, bags, accessories. then womenswear, and they are booming with the economy again, people are shopping till they drop. In order to generate rocket/ bull business, highest sell thru is the key, which doesn't mean better quality from all perspectives: from PR & marketing's point of view, any publicity is good publicity, the more exposure the better for them, to promote is the highest priority even if the products are ugliest ever, therefore, despite the level & quality of the publication, they love 'em all. From editor's angle, their power is being controlled by the profit that made by (potential) advertising from those brands, therefore, they are obliged to promote whatever the PR sent over and they cannot say anything but good, no critique, no judgement is needed. Plus, when the whole city is featuring the ugliest bag and yours not, then your magazine is not cool enough, readers think this is a crap mag, the PRs think you are not coperative enough which worsen the relationship between the two parties. Then you don't get the free gifts once every 3 months and no invites to parties etc etc. Most tragically, PR believes that by showing the products constantly non-stop, shoppers'd buy the idea (and they do), and to a certain degree, they successfully promote the *new born aesthetic* and deliver these images a la mode.
From A to Z, no qualtity or/ and taste has been involved, filtered and transcended.

Neo Taste Equation
Speaking of which, people behind all these glamorous images are rather bad in taste anyway, not refering to the money people (financer CEOs, presidents etc), but from PRs, buyers, merchandisers, salespeople et al, they have absolutely no taste, they might be good at what they do and believing in their strong *design* and *designer's visionairy* (whatever these words mean these days). Only a very remote number of real tastemakers understand the real meaning of fashion, and most of them don't work in the business. To them, Fashion = Business (& have to be a good one), unlike before, Fashion= Art Applique x Society Reflection x Personal Taste. Where are we heading? the whole world is putting their eyes on China - a big fat piece of landful of big fat money spenders, HK would be the ultimate spot for these brands to set up an office and they are coming to town. At the end, there's no conclusion or solution, but just to admit the truth that the scene and market are deteriorting, both taste-wise and fashion-wise, and will be dominated by the growing number of new moneyed fashion victim from the country and businessmen from around the globe.

1 comment:

k said...

I could not agree with you MORE! HK is a town of $$ and blind consumerism. New is Good! Expensive is Better! Designer is Best!

Not many HKers exercise taste, discrimination, nor posses class or real style. They spend too much time looking at third rate style pages from the weeklies and tabloids and seeing what the awful tvb actresses are wearing.

Just walk around Central to see the many unfortunate (rich) style disasters.

But the reality is, no $= no business and the death of a brand or business.