The BSU Fashionista Diaries
"Fall 2009 Fashion Week: Recession Special"
By Nikki Osei
The current state of the economy and its impact on society is consistently the topic of conversation. The fashion industry is also suffering from the economic decline. Merchandise can't sell, as customers can't afford to buy. Fashion Week is typically an extravaganza, complete with massive collections, lights, theatrics, snow machines, Mary-Go-Rounds (Chanel Fall 2008), "aliens," followed up with after parties like no other. Couture creations and impeccably crafted RTW (ready- to- wear) aside, designers were somewhat thrifty in their demonstrations for their Fall 2009 collections.
Various designers scaled their collections back, deciding it was pointless to waste money on production for pieces that would appease in the show, but never sell. Giorgio Armani cut 20 looks from his collection, while John Galliano reduced his by 17 pieces and Betsey Johnson by 26. Betsy Johnson's collection was actually shown in her showroom, a quaint viewing with no room for her signature cartwheel! Roughly 1,000 people were snubbed for the Marc Jacobs show. Lavish after parties became intimate gatherings. Some shows were even screened as films. Fashion commentator Lisa Armstrong screened Gareth Pugh and affirmed, "With the economy the way it is we're going to be seeing a lot more of these videos." Loic Prigent commented, "I didn't see billionaires this week I saw millionaires this week..."
Many designers believed that not all have been affected by the recession and that if you have the money and are emotionally invested in a garment, you'll buy it. So very true. Style correspondent Tim Blanks agreed stating, "On another level, people drawn to these clothes have absolutely no notion of recession in their lives." Other commentary included, "Darling it's a recession. It's not about less its all about more..." Because times are so depressing, what we can enjoy, we do so excessively, whether it's good or bad. So I can relate to them spending stacks on a pair of pants; it makes them feel good. That would make me feel great! Lol! Fashion week is sort of an escape. People gather for the fantasy and "every single show is like a universe of that designer." I was not there in the flesh, but in watching the videos, I was definitely consumed by the beauty of the collections.
Karl Lagerfeld's take on the recession was, "It's healthy. I see the recession as a cleansing tool which will push away bad taste and all this bling bling." I just love this man! I love Lagerfeld for his passion, style, swagger, charm and the amazing collections he designs. Check his stroll during his finale walk and you will understand! I can only hope to meet him one day. Galliano stated, "It is a credit not creative crisis...and at Dior, creativity excels."
The glitz and glamour of Fashion Week was slightly subdued, yet designers maintained the quality and prices of garments. In light of the economic crisis, some designers created commercial collections that would sell, while others revisited their roots, revamping their signature and pushing the fashion envelope. I tend to favor the Parisian collections, and this season was no different. I loved Chanel (of course), Louis Vuitton, John Galliano, Lanvin, Balmain, and Alexander McQueen. Chanel maintained the iconic quilted and tweed coats, bows. ruffles, and hats in black and white, but splashed pastel pink and jade green on pants and shoes. Balmain's geometric showing stood out because of their harem pants, which is my newest obsession. The pants were silver, sequined, and stunning. The jackets pointy shoulders poked at my heart and I dubbed the collection scream worthy.
From Milan, I loved Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Marni, etc...Bottega Veneta's collection was lady like in muted palates. The draping, charmuse and leather fabrics, and sheath cut dresses flattered the models and it was a glamorous. Gucci had, "no recession clothes..." Marni was dark, detailed, and luxurious. New York is the epicenter of the financial crisis and it showed in the viewings. The shows were smaller, but more focused. Temperley London, Rodarte, Thakoon, Diane Von Furstenberg, among others, were flawless.
From NY to Paris, collections featured their version of the harem pant, accessorized with slim tees and blazers. Hint hint...go buy a pair. They are comfy, yet uber sexy, in spite of the relaxed fit. The shoes at all the shows were insane! I love a high heel, but I feared for the models lives as they stomped the runways in shoes that reached 7 inches and higher! OMG! Anything for the look, I guess.
Designers gravitated to the 1940s and 1980s for inspiration. Some fashion editors ate it up while others said they were tired of revisiting the past. Editor-in-chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour said, "This whole 80s revival thing that's going on is a little bit too much looking back..." Personally, I love the 80s rocker look. Fall 2009 fashion week showings were not as flashy, but the clothes packed a punch and made up for what some lacked in presentation. To watch the fashion shows and view entire collections visit http://www.style.com/.
Summing this all up, everyone and everything is suffering in some way from the recession. Designers created collections fully aware of this, with the intent to create desirable pieces that make women feel good. Just because your money looks funny, doesn't mean that you should and what better way to lift your spirits than stepping out in a fab fit. We can't yet afford runway wear, but the recessionista can still find affordable pieces, look chic, and exude fabulosity. We are set up for the next issue, which will focus on the recessionista and ways to avoid looking broke, busted, and disgusted. "Even though the economy is gloomy, that doesn't mean fashion has to be".
ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK
We have another MALE ROCK STAR! Monte "Tay" Henderson, was spotted in the MLK in a black leather hooded H&M jacket, brown Ed Hardy tee, blue distressed Levi's, Louis Vuitton monogram belt and Louis Vuitton Epi leather tennis shoes, with a brown cap. Signature dreads in tow, Monty was fresh, as usual.
I don't know what is good ladies, but I cannot seem to find you. I'm just so uninspired by the boring fits. No thought whatsoever. Everyday it's the same jeans, heels, shirt, and go. Like that birth control commercial, " (singing) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, everyday ahhhh..." I don't mean any harm, but it's depressing. We have a few weeks to go and I know my female rock star is out there. Perhaps, we haven't crossed paths yet. I am patiently waiting. So pick it up and dress to impress BSU and next time my rock star could be you. And remember, "A lady should always be classy ad fabulous." xoxo