Fashion storytelling- Why is it important?


Over the years, the fashion industry has developed in many different ways. Whether it be through trends, the introduction of digital fashion, or catwalk shows, fashion keeps evolving.

The most recent argument in the fashion industry is the idea of fashion storytelling and why is it important for a brand or collection. This is the concept of creating a narrative which evokes emotions within the audience. 

There are key intentions behind fashion storytelling, such as branding and marketing, design, and consumer engagement- all of which help a brand to curate their own identity within an already diverse and varied industry.

Storytelling through collections can help to highlight a brand as more than just a label. It can help to attract consumers by engaging with them on a personal level, creating connections and relationships. It can create excitement for an upcoming collection or product launch, helping the brand to become more known and build a client base.

A key example and prominent collection that is receiving a lot of buzz is Maison Margiela’s Haute Couture collection this year, created by John Galliano. The collection has blown up on social media for the doll-like makeup, with users aiming to recreate Pat Mcgrath’s porcelain skin looks. From the set, to the garments, to the model’s movements, the show sold a successful narrative. 

A look from Maison Margiela’s collection

With the fashion shows we are seeing at different fashion weeks- the storytelling is almost always exquisite. However these brands have experience and have already cemented their place in the fashion industry with their brand identity. Smaller brands can be successful at fashion storytelling, although it may be more difficult to create a successful narrative.

However, fashion storytelling is not always effective for a collection that has no depth or creativity. To fully understand the power of fashion storytelling and for brands to use it to their full advantage, they need to think beyond surface-level of their collections. Focusing on stories behind the designers, those involved, and how they would like their work to be perceived is key.

Although storytelling can be effective, the current state of the fashion industry is relying heavily on concepts of minimalism rather than maximalism. Forcefully adding a narrative or story behind a collection can actually detract from the garments themselves, and undermine the work. By not using this technique to enhance collections, it allows the audience to interpret the collection in their own way. Fashion critics are arguing that sometimes the storytelling in catwalk shoes is too overboard, with them confused or bored with what they are watching. What ever happened to going to a fashion show just to see the new designs?

With this current focus on minimalism, we can expect to see shows more on the simpler side. However fashion storytelling has been around for years, so we doubt it’ll go out of fashion.

What are your thoughts on fashion storytelling?

By Emma Foakes

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