fashion week is the flirtation of clothes with buyers and press
Fashion week is when it becomes crystal clear to you that it is impossible to write properly about collections based on photos. The flirtation takes place on the runway, not through the screen. However, often not even a front row seat will ensure you will be able to see and take in every detail on the garment (this is especially true for haute couture, which is built upon exquisite craftsmanship). I think the ideal way to experience a collection is this: first, you go to the show to see the clothes on models, in motion, to discover how the garments behave. After a day or two, you go to the showroom to take in the details and see how the garments are made (the runway is always about the bigger picture). Buyers work this way, as well as editors and (some) fashion journalists.
Last week I saw a Maison Martin Margiela dress, the defining aspect of which was the sound of velcro straps holding the skirt together being pulled apart. If I saw a photo of the dress, I wouldn't give it a second thought nor realize that due to adjustable velcro straps you can wear the dress in countless ways. It's not just individual garments: many times I've attended a show and the official photos released afterwards didn't look nearly as dashing as the runway. Though photos make clothes immortal, they often don't convey all their magic.
Zara top, circa 2005
I like it when clothes from H&M, Asos or Zara look like Dior. It pokes fun at high fashion's exorbitant cost* and proves that the impression given by clothes (expensive/cheap, put-together/random) depends entirely on the wearer. So actually, I like it when people wear clothes from cheaper brands like they're Dior (I'm using Dior as example because recently someone said my old Zara top reminded him of this brand, an outstanding compliment both to me and the top). It denotes a true understanding of fashion spiced with self-confidence and desire to make the clothes your own. To let yourself be the princess or prince at all times.
I'm sure most of us know instances when, say, this girl at school wore a scarf around her neck and pulled it off so well she made it a trend. In just a couple of days other girls started wearing a similar or even the same scarf. Of course, the scarf never looked so great on other girls. The secret was not in the scarf but in the girl and the way she wore it. Other girls couldn't achieve the same magic with the scarf because it's not what you wear, it's how you wear it.
On the other hand, even an exquisite Dior gown can look very much unlike Dior if you're not in the right mental place to wear it. Remember those thousands-of-dollars red carpet outfits that didn't work despite the best celebrity stylist, the most precious Harry Winston jewelry, the beautiful Louboutin pumps? You'd think it's impossible to go wrong with such sought-after pieces at your disposal. Wrong. Fashion can help immensely, but it cannot guarantee you that you will look amazing.
Since I know that how I look depends more on myself than my clothes, I don't believe in stratification of fashion. Zara tops and Yohji Yamamoto blouses are equally important in my closet. What I seek in clothes is not an expression of love for a certain brand or style, but a refined, dignified manner and character, the same qualities I wish to exude when I am wearing them.
* not to say the prices are always too high, though the crazy hole-ridden Balmain top will always remain questionable