At first glance, the Fendi Menswear Fall Winter 2018 offering looks like mere anoraks, logo-emblazoned sweatshirts, coats, blousons, and jackets. Oh, the clothes are reversible, a great solution to travel packing. And there's a mini-umbrella cap. Cool, but the consumers are knowledgeable enough now to understand the technicalities of these clothes.
So take more time to observe the runway set. There's a conveyor belt. The models are essentially commuters picking up their baggages. There's a massive camera-wielding crowd around them, snapping and shooting away.
It's a very literal representation of a facet to the fashion industry that hasn't been academised or debated about – the airport runway. Fans and paparazzi snap pictures of celebrities at the airports, in a wardrobe that we immediately assume, are their choice of comfortable jet-set clothes.
The fashion runway is a dinosaur concept. For decades, power has been concentrated on the fashion runway. What was shown on the runway was what the press and public got. Now, power has been diffused to the streets outside the show venue, red carpets, event launches, and the airport. You could perhaps consider it a trans-runway phenomenon.
Audiences no longer get a full picture from solely looking at runway pictures. The brand's narrative continues even after the runway show – you consume pictures of the male (and female) guests wearing pieces from the Fendi Menswear Fall Winter 2018 on street style websites, Instagram and Facebook feeds. Yet, the Fendi menswear runway hasn't ended. Later, few weeks or months down the road, you continue seeing pictures of celebrities in these clothes at actual airports. And the Fendi menswear story comes full circle.
Much has been said about the ebbing of fashion runways – it no longer holds much significance. Yet, take a step back in time and realise that the fashion runway has diffused. The Fendi Menswear Fall Winter 2018 highlighted this phenomenon. And this collection may go down the history books as a cultural signifier in a few decades to come.
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