News.com.au’s Vanessa Brown takes us behind the scenes of the Swim Show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia 2017.
THERE has been one very special thing missing from Fashion Week. And it’s not a fashion trend, a colour, a star model, food, brilliant hairdos, bare flesh, good design or a swag of ubiquitous bloggers.
It is something much richer, more powerful and always much more beautiful: It’s the sound of post-show applause.
When leading model Olivia ‘Ollie’ Henderson posted on her Facebook page about the “sounds of silence” she had encountered, she was, quite rightly, disappointed.
Not for her model peers, but for the designers.
“The difference this time was that we walked out to a silent room, usually during this portion of the show there would be applause for the designer,’ Henderson wrote in her post. “Then it dawned on me — you can’t clap with a phone in hand.”
Having covered or been to fashion shows all over the world, where whoop-whooping, cheers and endless claps can seemingly go on forever, I couldn’t agree more with Henderson’s sentiments.
Nowadays, you can hear the crickets chirping at the end of fashion shows.
For the vast majority of these runway showcases, it’s not because the audience hasn’t enjoyed it, or that the clothes are lacklustre or that guests are just too rude to acknowledge the time and effort spent on creating their seasonal piece de resistance.
I read somewhere a great expression to describe this particular clapless phenomena – it’s the “sound of one hand Instagramming”.
It’s because the end-of-show victory lap has become the perfect ‘video’ moment. If not a video moment, then it’s a moment that is being Instagrammed ‘live’ or Facebooked ‘live’.
As our eyes, fingers and hands are poised looking through our devices, as we diligently record every moment, a nice clap to say congratulations has gone by the wayside.
“It’s quite disheartening,” one designer told me, who gave a brilliant show this week and spoke to me anonymously.
“Particularly as a designer, because you are normally out the back waiting to take your very short bow at the end and if you do walk out onto the runway and everyone is so busy filming, the sound of any kind of acknowledgment is basically non-existent,” she added.
Like any performance for a creative person, there is an expectation of some kind of appreciation at the end of it.
We do it when we go to the theatre and sometimes even to a movie that blows our minds. We do it when we watch a sporting match, when someone gives a killer speech, when we attend a panel discussion or even when someone wins an award in your workplace.
I can’t imagine how disheartening it must be to have spent months and months on creating a fashion collection and then not a sound. Zilch.
And to be honest, I don’t think it is going to change.
If anything, more and more people are creating their own content and while that still goes on, designers and models are just going to have to cope with the sound of one hand Instagramming.
When she isn’t attempting to applaud designers with a third hand you can follow Melissa on Twitter and Instagram @melissahoyer