New York's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week comes first in the presentations of the really big fashion centers of the world. It starts it with a bang and reminds everyone in the world that it is indeed fashion week. Following them are London and Milan, both absolutely unique and fantastic in their own ways. They feature some of the biggest names in the industry from Burberry Prorsum to Georio Armani and all the while, the spectators know that the best is only yet to come. Paris, the undisputed fashion capital of the world is the last of the giants. Anyone who's anyone in the industry is in Paris at this point. It's like, maybe you can only get away from your fancy job in LA for one week so you have to choose which of the heavyweights to attend. Paris is always the one. Nothing beats Parisian fashion and everyone knows it.
This season thus far has had significantly less drama than those of the recent past. No major deaths this season or firings of highly respected and then disgraced fashion icons. Just beautiful clothes reflecting a few major trends that seem to be dominating the runways on an international scale.
Back to Basics
Women these days in North America find themselves in a peculiar setting in which economic times are hard, budgeting is key and frivolity is limited. These major designers have identified this key aspect in the way women are dressing themselves and have both figuratively and literally weaved it into their collections. One identifiable aspect of this trend is the use of knitting and crocheting, an ancient handy craft which, until recently, has been seen as something only your grandmother spent her time doing. Thanks to the creative, resourceful new generation of young twenty-somethings, it's actually become all the rage.
Examples of this trend can be seen throughout the collections of Burberry Prorsum, Prada and in Vivienne Westwood's Red Label.
On the opposing end of the above theory, is the overly decorative and highly luxurious clothes being produced mainly in Italy. These two trends usually coincide as a result of two types of reactions to the same situation. Some women want to get back to hand crafted, earth friendly clothing, while others want to prove that the state of the economy and the world itself could not touch their high social standing and indeed, their pocket books. Why not wear a dress completely covered in jewels or strips of gold like in the Dolce and Gabbana or Roberto Cavalli shows? That'll show 'em how fancy we are.
Classic Femininity vs. Androgyny
Every season has its own version of this dichotomy of clothing styles which, occur throughout every collection in some form or another. After Alexander McQueen brought back the big pointy shoulders for women, the power suit look has come back and women are now in some cases wearing clothes that were specifically designed and cut for men. On the antithesis is the typical Christian Dior Woman, hourglass shape which is still quite prominent across the fashion board. Flared skirt, fitted dresses with over-sized prints and feminine shoulder and necklines, the likes of which could be found in Betty Draper's closet, are still quite present and relevant.
Overall, it's obvious that duality of style, tone and overall concepts in fashion are the real theme this season.
By this point, Paris Fashion Week is underway and the collections are coming out every day this week. Once they're all done (and I've settled in my new fab apartment!!) I'll be posting a summary of the most influential Paris shows and my thoughts on the overall season.
Thanks for reading!!