Interesting story in The Observer on how the fashion seasons are increasingly confused (something we suffer from here). As Cruise collections are presented in New York the article notes that the fashion season and the weather season are often out of kilter. It also suggests that the changes are driven by both climate change and the internationalisation of the fashion industry.

Also interesting to note that many major designers are now showing Cruise or Resort collections in between the Winter and Summer Fashion Weeks. Alot of local designers have a resort feel to much in their collections (which makes sense in a resort destination like Cape Town) but not many have actually gone as far as launching Cruise collections themselves – Gavin Rajah being a notable exception.

“The fashion seasons and the weather seasons are equally off-kilter,” said W magazine’s Trina Lombardo. “They’ll put bikinis in the stores in February, and winter clothes in the stores in July when the weather won’t turn cold till December. Everyone’s talking about season-less clothes, or clothing for all climates.”

As the seasons blur, the industry is adding subsets to the traditional autumn-winter, spring-summer arrangement: pre-collection, cruise or resort, high summer and Vogue’s own special designation, “trans-seasonal”.

“Women want things that can cross climates and seasons,” said Quick. “They want clothes that are neither high summer nor deep winter.”

Warm weather clothes are now offered from the end of November – with the arrival of cruise – to August. But even this is confused. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that department stores are putting on early sales, and winter designs already being pushed on to shop floors.

“You can no longer always tell what you are looking at,” said Liz Walker, executive fashion editor at Marie Claire. “A winter fashion show may have no coats or sweaters, and the only thing that reminds you it’s a summer show is if you see a girl in bikini.

“It’s definitely to do with climate change. Ten years ago you knew you were going to have to shoot coats and sweaters in Russia or Iceland, but nobody wants those clothes anymore.”

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