Pre-Ramble: Well, you probably heard it somewhere else first, but I’ll repeat it for emphasis — according to Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, Fashion Week is going for “understated” this year…
I don’t think anyone is going to want to look overly flashy, overly glitzy, too Dubai, whatever you want to call it… I just don’t think that’s the moment.
Well, phew! I am so grateful for that insight, since I was just planning to stock up on desperately glitzy resort wear for our upcoming trip to Duluth. I think Anna is so right-on in her assertion that the pricing in fashion has become excessive, that a “sense of reality is needed,” and that there is “a very correct correction going on.”
In these challenging economic times, it’s no wonder that designers, shop owners, and fashion plates are ruffled. Other sources echo Wintour’s sentiment, like this weekend’s headline in the Village Voice — “Grim, downscale fashion week starts today,” or USA Today — “… fashionistas have turned into recessionistas, … fearful of spending in a tanking economy.” Obviously, these editors should be issued a fashion violation for their use of the words “grim” and “tanking,” respectively; both clearly on the list of “words-which-shall-not-be-used” to describe economic conditions… (see related post from Feb. 4)
Quick primer: For those of you who don’t have teenage daughters and season’s pass to Project Runway, Bryant Park is an annual week long series of fashion shows that bring designers from all over the world to strut their stuff. Located in New York’s fashion district (duh), Bryant Park will host somewhere around 70 invitation-only events this year. According to city sources, last year’s shows drew more than 230,000 attendees and brought in over $465 million in visitor spending. Some of the “top drawer” designers who will show their collections during 2009 fashion week are Nicole Miller, Marc Jacobs, Caroline Herrera, Jason Wu (the young man who designed Michelle Obama’s dress for the inauguration), and Mattel.
Mattel, as in Barbie. According to her very own predominately pink blog, every girl’s fashion icon will “celebrate fifty years of fun, fashion, and friends” during Fashion Week, “… Everything from the most talked about runway moments, hottest parties, chicest trends and … all the latest must-have goodies!” OMG!! … The Barbies didn’t get the memo! … Quick — somebody call the Dream House and let them know that glamour, bling, and big hair are out this year.
The Take-Away: A missive from luxe life fashion blog, ChicToday, says it all:
… we must remember that in these dire times, fashionable doesn’t have to mean expensive, but simply and stylishly elegant.
Ms. Wintour’s under-the-radar ensemble — marigold print Carolina Herrera dress ($2,490), Burberry sateen trench ($1,595), and Manolo Blahnik alligator sling-backs ($2,685) — reflect these modest times perfectly.