Food For Fashion Thought: Is Now The Time For Designers To Take A Risk?

Liz Doupnik

alexander mcqueen1 Food For Fashion Thought: Is Now The Time For Designers To Take A Risk?Fact: we regularly wish that we could be a fly on the wall during the meetings where our favorite designers discuss the inspiration for their next collection. Whether it’s an obvious reference or a subtle innuendo cruising down the runway, we love interpreting the brainstorms of these aficionados – usually. Then there are some references that frankly leave us muttering, huh? How are we supposed to wear that? Cue some of arguably the most distinctive footwear in the last few years, the Alexander McQueen heels from 2010.

Apparently, the shoes were inspired by the frightening extraterrestrial in the film Alien. A couple things: first of all, at the time, futuristic opulence was on the forefront of everyone’s (in the fashion industry) minds. Sure, the recession may have been in full swing, but that wasn’t going to stop the genius otherwise known as Alexander McQueen. Unknowingly at the time, the designer’s final collection set a precedent during a time when most designers were playing it safe and resting on the bread and butter of what buyers would scoop up for their respective retailers just to keep their businesses afloat.

Fast forward two years and as we are slowly peeking our heads out of the economic downturn, we’ve seen parallels in designers beginning to take chances with their work and pushing consumers to once again think outside of the box. But, will we be able to emerge out of the complacent commercialism we’ve found ourselves in as shoppers? And what about those of us who can ogle an insane shoe possibly inspired by an alien but simply can’t afford them? What does this mean for us?

We propose (taking into consideration the accessibility of designers’ inner workings thanks to the trusty ol’ Internet) that this progressive thinking is now under even more pressure and there’s an increasing importance placed on innovation and unpredictability as fast fashion retailers are churning out similar styles. Not to mention, we can interpret these styles for ourselves and not sacrifice our credit score AND then share the looks with our blog, Twitter and Pinterest followers at the click of a button.

What do you think? Is it up to the designer or the consumer to be responsible or risky? And moreover, do designers need to push the envelope with innovative influences or can we think for ourselves to create sick outfits out of clothes we can afford? Register as a user to get the conversation started in the comment section below!