It's not exactly news that the fashion industry is undergoing major alterations. In the midst of the pandemic, shopping habits have changed, designers are taking steps toward seasonless fashion, and in-person events have been replaced by brand new, digital experiences.
However, not everyone is ready to call it quits on Fashion Weeks and red carpet glamour — specifically, Christian Siriano and Selma Blair. The designer and the actress, who have worked together for many years, say there's something about these traditions that simply can't be replaced. Sure, changes and evolution may happen along the way, but to them, it's about more than just showcasing pretty clothes. Fashion is a community, a feeling, and art that is meant be displayed.
InStyle spoke to both Siriano and Blair to get their thoughts on the future of fashion, and answers will leave you convinced that it's happy and bright.
What do you love the most about fashion week?
Christian Siriano: "I love all the emotion and passion behind it. It's such a special moment where all these artists come together to celebrate their hard work. It's like the opening week of a broadway show and it's just as important in our culture to see what's next in fashion. Fashion is so visual and really can have power."
Selma Blair: "The thing I first loved the most about fashion week and still do is the thrill of the music coming up, everyone seated. Bated breath. The knowing we are the first to see what the designer has been working on...the drama! The legs, the show! What's not to love about fashion week? Utterly glamorous. And for me, in Los Angeles, it is the rare moment to spend with Christian, for example, and have it be so memorable. Fashion week buoys the city. The fashionable people charmed by the time of year they can really indulge their passions for all things style."
What do you love the least about fashion week?
CS: "Oh, so many things. It's a lot of pressure to perform this perfect show, and unlike a stage show or performance by your favorite singer, we don't get a dress rehearsal. It's one chance to show your work and if it isn't what you want it to be, it's too late."
"I also don't like it if people complain that the show is too long if it's more than 10 minutes. We work for months on a collection and it costs thousands of dollars, so I don't think it's that hard to sit through a show for 15 minutes to see something pretty."
SB: "There isn’t anything I don’t like about it. Hotels and old friends, the new young crowd, and all the models I have admired on pages. It’s just a very lively, beautiful time and memories."
How has the pandemic changed your view on fashion? Has it made you think differently before you make a purchase, or when it comes to your company and designs?
CS: "Oh, it has changed everything. It's almost too much to type because it really is just a different world now. It's not enough to just make clothes anymore. They need to mean something and maybe help change perceptions on what is cool or important. I think this has also taught us that designers are really needed because without the creators a lot else goes away. So we need to create and keep inspiration alive."
SB: "The pandemic has been such a shift. Of course. For myself, I look to what fashion will produce in this time. How isolation, and a greater appreciation for lasting, beautiful things, has been imprinted on me. We are, naturally, mortal, and the pandemic has only solidified in me what an important salve the fashion industry has always been to my emotions. It is wardrobe. It is armor. It is whimsy, and grace, and fun, and a representation of the designer. I dress up in a favorite Siriano or Chanel piece at home now. Why wait? I may never leave! So, it is like I am with these people in a way. More than ever it gives us a connection. Of beauty."
Do you think fashion week and the industry, in general, will be changing in the future, especially with how the world has changed over the past few months?
CS: "I think and hope it will change for the future. We need to celebrate, not judge so harshly. We are all out here just trying to live and survive and that is hard enough as we all have seen. So why judge something that should make us all feel great about ourselves? I hope that changes."
SB: "I think the more things change, we will be surprised at how fashion remains a constant. It isn’t frivolous. It is a language. And it may be a luxury. But it always has been."
Do you think we need as many shows or shows at all? What are your thoughts on seasonless fashion?
CS: "I think that yes, if a fashion designer wants to showcase their work with a show they should and not be judged so harshly for it. That's like telling an actor they don't need to be in movies, TV only. Fashion shows are our way to present our work. Just like an artist would in a gallery space, but ours has movement!"
SB: "Shows will always be a thrill. A dramatic way for the designer to showcase their world, and like all theatre, it may ebb and flow with the allowances of the time. I look forward to being able to cast my judgmental eye on many runways in the future. Haha!"
How do you think the celebrity and designer relationship will change in the coming year, with fewer red carpets, more digital events?
CS: "I think that will change a lot, and I actually have no idea what will happen. But I think a home shoot can be just as fabulous as a red carpet. I do miss carpets and the drama of it all, so we just need to be creative moving forward. If my friend Selma doesn't want to leave her house, then I'll bring the fashion to her and that could be really exciting. Something new. Maybe it's driveway red carpet — how fabulous."
SB: "For now, as we all adopt a more private setting, we may grow more and more nostalgic for the Fashion Week glamour of pre-COVID, pre-recession status. But the charm of putting on a great Siriano gown or suit, that’s timeless. But tagging Siriano in a photo, it just isn’t the same as the whole show. I already miss it. Christian was my last show a few years back, where I walked. A dream. Just love. And fashion. It will always be transformative. I love it all so. Now I am going to put on a cape and a mask, a swimsuit, and my cane, accessorized for the monthly grocery run. Anything goes. It’s fashion. Week. Always. Now."