Fashion season is in full swing.
Marc Jacobs closed the 2016 New York Fashion Week with a psychedelic show featuring white models sporting colourful fake dreadlocks – and accordingly came under a bit of fire.
All this might seem to follow the well-worn fashion grain, but the ground beneath those sparkling stilettos is actually shifting – fast.
Fashion weeks are becoming less about fashion cliques and more about opening up to the masses.
Fashion weeks used to be an industry affair: they were about fashion labels presenting their new seasonal collections to prospective buyers.
There were a limited number of cities on the fashion circuit: Paris, Milan, New York and London.
Journalists from fashion magazines and newspapers bridged the gap between industry and consumer, providing information about new looks and trends and summarising the ups and downs of the well-heeled world to consumers at large.
Orders were taken, and clothing deliveries took place six months later, in time for the spring and autumn seasons.
Mainstream fashion brands and retailers also picked up on the trends, which were reflected in their subsequent clothing ranges.
This reasonably well-ordered calendar was driven by the speed of its physical processes, from order taking to distribution to retailers.
But all of these dimensions have changed.
Fashion weeks are evolving from an exclusive industry function to participatory consumer events.