Fashion Week: Rounding up the fall trends before we embrace spring
Here’s another trend story from Fashion Week fall ’09. This one is by Suzanne Brown of the Denver Post. I think this will be the last round-up piece from New York’s twice-annual event. I’m ready for spring.
By Suzanne S. Brown
NEW YORK — We’ve all been shopping in our own closets and avoiding frivolous purchases, but what’s a fashion-forward man or woman to do in the age of recession? During Fashion Week’s recent round of fall 2009 shows, we looked to see if designers were playing it safe or moving the style meter ahead and giving us a reason to buy.Some designers dialed back the glamour quotient, offering pared-down modern design in clothes that will cost less than they have in the past. Mark Badgley and James Mischka, known for gowns dripping with beads and glamour, showed a more restrained — and less expensive — collection that focused on tailoring and fabrics like charmeuse rather than pricey embellishments.Others used fashion
as an escape route, presenting unusual pieces a woman will be tempted to buy because she doesn’t already have something like it in her closet.
“They’re bringing faraway places to the runway,” says Robert Verdi, a stylist who works with such celebrities as Hugh Jackman and Eva Longoria. “We’re seeing some Tokyo influence with an obi, or ruffles that recall a Spanish dancer.”
Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing says the chic retailer is “laser-focused on what the customer wants. She is re-loving her own clothes but also looking for newness and value.”
He thinks women will respond to clean, close-to-the-body silhouttes. “Overwhelming volume doesn’t feel in step with the times,” he says. Strong shoulders, a throwback to the 1980s, have been an influence for several seasons but are just now going more mainstream, Downing says. “It projects confidence and sexiness.”
There’s a cocooning quality to the new clothes. “It’s definitely a knit season, whether you like cozy cardigans or big comfy pullovers,” he says.
Here are some of the trend highlights from the shows:
GOLD DIGGERS: Metallic fabrics show no signs of going away, particularly gold ones, which popped up in many collections for fall.
Strong sleeves at Zac Posen. (AP | Seth Wenig)
Zac Posen presented an Oscar-worthy gown, while “Project Runway” winner Christian Siriano showed a skinny-legged pant suit. Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein paraded short gold evening dresses, as did Badgley Mischka. Among the prettiest gold was Ralph Lauren’s antique lace number.
We also saw a lot of silver, in everything from lame to foiled fabrics and jacquards from such designers as Carolina Herrera and Marc Jacobs.
Not into those metals? We also spotted bronze, steel and pewter.
SHOULDERING NO BURDEN: The other 1980s runway revival was for big shoulder and sleeve treatments. Sleeves were pleated, puffed, dimpled or otherwise designed to be noticed. We don’t relish the return of clothes like those on “Dallas” and Dynasty,” but
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