This year’s Fashion Weeks are over. From New York to Milan to Paris to London, the constellations of our global auteurs of style have rearranged for the new season. To quote Liz Taylor in American Horror Story Hotel:
“Skinny jeans are out, fringe is in, and ponchos are forever.”
But while not everyone watches fashion shows and follows the ever racing current of what’s in vogue, or in Vogue, everyone watches TV.
Think back to Serena van der Woodsen’s gold cotillion gown in ’07; Don Draper’s entire wardrobe and Mad Men’s 60s revolution; think of the 500 shades of Blair Waldorf’s headbands; Victoria Grayson’s love affair with Hervé Léger bandage dresses. TV has always relied upon designers (costume and fashion house alike) to provide reference points for characters’ sartorial identities; case in point, Cookie Lyon’s move from animal prints, fur, and ornamentation to sleeker Dior and Moschino looks in season 2 of Empire. Yet with the rise of TV shows as cultural touchstones in a way they have never been before, designers of late have been looking to what we are looking at on the small screen for inspiration.
Nowhere is this more obvious, and perhaps more successful, than with the union of the Kardashian empire and the House of Balmain. Olivier Rousteng’s masterful business savvy has allied the brand with one of the most recognisable families on TV and Instagram, introducing the aspirational luxury of Balmain to millions, while helping to raise the profile of the Kardashian-Jenners to the stylistic It-women they have become. Who could have said five years ago that Kendall would become a Chanel bride in the house’s Fall couture show, or that Kylie’s chameleonic change of style would inspire millions around the globe?
Fashion, fame, art, TV. In this ever-changing world in which we live in, the clear boundaries between these arenas have long fallen away.