Fashion explainer: Why does the style industry need so many seasons?


  • Style
  • Tuesday, 14 Jul 2020

The fashion calendar traditionally cycles through different collections designed for a specific season. Photo composite (from left): Kate Spade, Chanel, Hugo Boss, Gucci, Elie Saab

Designers around the world are calling for fashion to go seasonless. They now question the need for a hectic calendar of back-to-back fashion presentations.

The question is, why does the fashion industry need so many seasons? What do they mean?

Even more so for countries like Malaysia. which don't cycle through four weather seasons a year.

Read more: What do Malaysian designers think about the call for fashion to go seasonless?

It may seem confusing at times, but the seasonality that designers have long adhered to actually draws from a retail need and is a matter of practicality of sorts.

The system takes its cue from buying trends of consumers in countries that have four weather seasons, corresponding to the need of warm or cold weather clothes – plus everything else in between.

The fashion seasons have a loose tie to trends like colours or materials. Also, some collections (like Couture) are deemed as important enough to warrant their own fashion weeks and seasons, just to set them apart.

Read more: Fashion watch: 3 standout digital couture presentations worth your time

Here’s what you need to know about the calendar of runway presentations that designers are compelled to follow.

Light and easy

Kate Spade Spring/Summer 2019Kate Spade Spring/Summer 2019

The first major season is Spring/Summer. It sees the inclusion of light and airy designs. Whether the sweet florals of spring or skin-baring creations signifying summer, they reflect the vibe of the sunshiny months.

Interim chic

Chanel Pre-Fall 2018Chanel Pre-Fall 2018

What happens when the weather cools down at the tail-end of summer, but autumn hasn’t technically arrived yet? That’s where the Pre-Fall collection comes in. It offers retailers something new to stock their shelves with before the next season proper arrives.

Cooling it off

Hugo Boss Autumn/Winter 2019Hugo Boss Autumn/Winter 2019

As the second major fashion season, Autumn/Winter brings with it a wide range of outerwear. Chunky knits or fleece-lined pieces – these offer cosiness, which is needed for the cooler months.

Holiday action

Gucci Cruise 2017Gucci Cruise 2017

Also known as Resort, the Cruise collection was introduced because the wealthiest fashion house clients would pick up these styles to use on their holidays. At the height of winter, the rich flock to tropical countries – and thus, are in of need of appropriate clothes.

Breathtaking creations

Elie Saab Autumn/Winter Couture 2016Elie Saab Autumn/Winter Couture 2016

Most major houses roll out additional Couture collections. Dropping twice a year (Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter), these offer the one-of-a-kind creations tailored to perfection.

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