Fashion & Style: Last season's fashion week was a scary time for designers and shoppers alike, and that fear was reflected in most of the New York collections. Now, with the spring/summer '10 collections coming down runways, consumers are no more confident and designers are still struggling with funds. But unlike the funereal designs of last season, the mood this September seems to be about lightening up and pushing forward.
Anna Wintour's inaugural Fashion's Night Out kicked off this feeling of perseverance, with stores staying open late, and crowds coming out in droves across the city. Yes, a great deal of them were there to see the events and celebrities-and many more were there for the free drinks-but, whether by accident or not, people were actually shopping. Was it enough to inspire a change in confidence for good? Probably not, but it was a sufficient start.
The collections were another matter entirely. Crowds at the shows were abuzz with wishes to see more color and to move on from the doom and gloom of last season. For their part, designers have been delivering on this end. The office-bound look has given way to something more sporty, yet still decently tame. Designers are taking influence not from a slow economy, but from other cultures: Elie Tahari's color scheme was influenced by the sunsets of North Africa, Diane Von Furstenberg's collection displayed a wandering woman on the precipice of the Egyptian desert and even Alexander Wang, whose nightmarishly black collection was a highlight of a/w '09, traded in absence for, well, a lighter absence at least. Grey, beige and khaki filled Wang's collection, and the models walked down the runway in leopard print stilettos.
The s/s '10 clothing gives off the impression that people are ready to move on and are trying to-despite many uncertainties still looming over the industry. We are in transition, and the clothing reflects this.
Editor-in-Chief JC Report