The Fall of Fashion


Christopher Macsurak

Marc Jacobs runway fashion show

      The modern fashion industry lacks authenticity and creativity. When you compare runways from 2022 to fashion shows in the ‘80s or ‘90s, it’s apparent that trends have changed and not necessarily for the better. Not to mention as the inventiveness of designer items decreases, the price only goes up. In the ‘80s designers used bold colors, feathers and silk. The ‘90s introduced experimental layering, and creative uses of patterns such as plaid and animal prints. However, when you look at runways today, you will notice a bizarre use of monochromatic color schemes and drastically different “ready to wear” lines. 

     Balenciaga, for example, has been one of the most popular designer brands since the 1920s, but their fame gives them the flexibility to come out with a full black bodysuit and charge over 3,500 dollars for it. Balenciaga is not alone in this quality decrease, Gucci sells a plain black tank top for 650 dollars, and you can buy Louis Vuitton jogging pants for over three times that amount. The worst part is, people actually buy these items. Purchasing something just to say its designer defeats the purpose of luxury fashion in the first place. These items are supposed to be inventive and unique, but the influence of titling a piece of clothing as ‘designer’ only bends people’s perception of what fashion actually is. Once a brand has proven itself in the fashion industry it has free range to produce whatever it wants and price it whatever it wants. Brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga, and Louis Vuitton, exemplify this practice, considering that they each make over 70 million dollars a year. 

     Besides their ready-to-wear collections, luxury brands are often responsible for dressing celebrities to gala and red carpet events. The Met Gala, in particular, is a popular fashion event hosted by Vogue Magazine at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.  Thousands of A-list celebrities have attended this event, often abiding by a specific theme set ahead of time. Past themes have included China: Through the Looking Glass, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, and most notably, Camp: Notes on Fashion. The entire point is to dress on theme and celebrate a collection of fashion, but over the years the themes have become less and less noticeable. In 2022, the theme was Gilded Glamour, and guests were expected to dress accordingly with late 1800s American Fashion (Corsets, silk, velvet, eccentric silhouettes, etc.).  However, it wasn’t long until the theme was completely overlooked by designer brands. Valentino, for example, styled Sebastian Stan, who appeared on the carpet in a neon pink suit. Kylie Jenner wore an Off-White bridal dress with a sheer shirt and a baseball cap. Gwen Stafani also went a neon route, wearing a bright green two piece dress by Vera Wang. When asked about the dress, Stafani said “It feels happy. And I think everyone wants to feel a little bit happy.” Despite her attempt to label her dress as cheerful, she still angered many fans across the world by dressing off theme. At what point do these events go from themed galas to free-for-all carpets? 

      Luxury fashion used to be unique to consumers and highly dependable in quality and authenticity, but now brands produce average clothes at higher prices just because they can. Additionally, their unique custom wear for celebrities and models no longer hold the same captivating factors they did in the ‘80s.  As seen by the analysis of designer styles in past decades, it’s clear the modern fashion industry is only getting progressively worse.