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Fashion Week: The best of times, the worst of times.

Whether or not it’s a curse to live in ‘interesting times’ remains the blatant fact: we live in an interesting time. Where I’m not exactly sure if I have tired eyes, or my taste for design has become more refined, but lately, I’ve been finding that I need more than a pretty dress to hold my attention. This past fashion week, I may was a teeny bit underwhelmed, as many designers decided to play it safe, adhering to the classic recession chic, without paying homage the visual references  of interesting times before.

2008 has been the biggest year for women in politics in the US since women won the right to vote just 88 years ago. Between the Hillary Clinton pantsuit, the Sarah Palin wigs, and Michelle Obama in purple,  I’m often wondering what’s going on here, health care reform, aerial wolf hunting or my favorite subject, personal style.

The interpretations of Marc Jacob’s SS09 collection have been wildly mixed, I’ve read 1930’s inspired, YSL Ballet Russes, I would have to go with Lauren Hutton’s interpretation of the post-millennial suffragette. The soundtrack of the runway show was the 1920’s Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, which has distinctly early 20th century charm, visual cues of straw hats at a jaunty angle, high collared blouses, tailored, wide lapel jackets  and high waisted feminine skirts, reminiscent of the WWI-era hobble skirt. Marc Jacobs himself leaves his collections open to interpretation, while, I’m not sure if he’s making a political statement here, or a political observation, there is certainly a parallel between two times.

Organic Correlations

New York Fashion Week had shows with a dark vision of the future, the post-apocalyptic Rodarte, and evil scientist looking Proenza Schouler, but Organic by John Patrick took another interpretation by connecting our future with the problems we’ve faced in the past. This collection was inspired by the Dustbowl ecological disaster of the 1930’s and the intense resourcefulness of people who lived during the Depression. Ruffles, ginghams and wallpaper florals on faded fabrics echo scenes from a Dorothea Lange portrait. However John Patrick goes beyond mere aesthetics and addresses the ecological issues of today with a solution, working with sustainable fabrics and ethically congruent labor practices.

All in all, it’s becoming obvious that there are going to be interesting shifts occurring in fashion, where some are beginning to wondering how much is enough, or taking a break from buying new, or even if trends matter at all.  Who really knows what lies ahead, but it’s safe to say what ever happens, we’re resilient enough to keep it interesting.

Marc Jacobs Image Source, Organic by John Patrick Image Source,

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5 comments for “Fashion Week: The best of times, the worst of times.”

  1. I think I prefer this Marc Jacobs collection to many of his other efforts.

    Posted by WendyB | September 15, 2008, 5:23 am
  2. I’ll be interested in watching how these issues play over the 3 weeks.

    Posted by Imelda Matt | September 15, 2008, 6:11 am
  3. to be honest, i’m a little afraid to see what happens in the upcoming weeks.

    Posted by jennine | September 15, 2008, 9:37 am
  4. i think the marc jacobs show has really workable pieces. all together though they are a bit odd. take any of those blouses, blazers or skirts as the focus of an outfit and i like it.

    Posted by SwanDiamondRose | September 15, 2008, 12:49 pm
  5. I’ll be interested to see how much of this stuff makes it onto the street and into daily life.

    Nice job summing it up.

    Posted by enc | September 15, 2008, 6:50 pm

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