The fashion industry, and the catwalk in particular, have always primarily focused on designer labels. Clothing that is very expensive and that the majority of us can only be inspired by – before having to look to the high street for something similar in order to afford it.
The clothes worn by models on the catwalk, although spectacular, can appear impractical, unaffordable and sometimes ridiculous. However, the high street takes much of their influence from what it sees at the likes of London Fashion Week. Thus making high fashion wearable as well as affordable for those who don’t have the bank balance of an A-list celebrity.
A few seasons ago Simone Rocha showed pearl collars on her dresses which would have cost hundreds – within weeks pearl collars and trims were in shop windows up and down the high street. And this process has only been quickened since access to catwalk fashion has become instant for anyone due to the internet.
In recent years the high street has seriously upped its game. High Street brand Mango, for example, first replaced their dependable basics with fashion forward prints. Now they have not one, but two models featuring in their advertising campaign – Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne – who teamed up for the first time since their iconic Burberry advert. Their clothing is often also seen on celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson and Miranda Kerr and is so similar to those recently seen on the catwalk that it is nearly indistinguishable.
But the high street doesn’t only take influence from the catwalk, they now strut their stuff down it as well! 2013 saw an increased number of high street brands taking to the catwalk at London Fashion Week. River Island showed their first collection – a collaboration with Rhianna – in the same year H&M made their Paris Fashion Week debut. These stores are joining the like of Topshop’s Unique label, which has shown at London Fashion Week since 2001.
In recent years we have started to see designers collaborating with the high street to create affordable versions of their own designs – such as Conran, who was the first to do so. This move portrays the importance of the high street stores, when it comes to enabling the majority of people to be able to wear fashionable clothes without having to spend £1000’s to do so.
Even celebrities (who can afford the designer labels) are often spotted in high street brands such as Topshop, Zara and obviously Mango. Likewise, bloggers and magazines, wanting to be relatable, show more and more high street brands, and when they do show designer, they often provide the high street equivalent.
Designer names are even selling at a discounted price in a bid to keep up with the high street. Stores such as www.ticwatches.co.uk for example, offer names such as Daniel Wellington on their watches, but at a price that is kinder to your credit card. Likewise, TK Maxx offer remaindered, returned and end of range products from top designers and famous label manufacturers. Enabling you to own a designer label, without paying the designer price tag.
Is it any wonder that the high street is taking over the fashion industry – when they are able to offer fashionable clothing, that is so similar to the designer labels, but at a price we can afford?