Posts for May 13th 2008
>> Doesn't this photo from the June 2008 Vogue editorial "Rebel Romance" look like it could be the next Louis Vuitton Journeys portrait? The same photographer, Annie Leibovitz, is involved, with the same grayish undertones and the requisite proponderance of Louis Vuitton luggage. Coincidence or Louis Vuitton contract?
Yesterday we were in a brooding mood as we pondered the effect the economic downturn would have on our fashion choices. However, we've since turned our frowns upside down, as we realized that the fashion world doesn't have to become a virtual strip mall of homogeneous, low-quality goods. While we're still aware of its pitfalls and are sleeping with one eye open, we've found solutions for the fashion-craving girl or guy on a paltry budget. Our network partners show us the way.
We found inspiration in the form of a puffed shoulder, via Kingdom of Style's tale of victory on eBay, where she scored a unique bolero jacket that sent her over the moon with rapturous joy. Her jubilant photo spread with said jacket proved to us that you can still sate your high-fashion appetites. You just have to know where to look. Even if bidding wars aren't your thing, there are many virtual stores on eBay that don't require you to engage in high-speed clicking battles with an enemy mouse. For the uninitiated, these stores allow eBayers to buy and sell goods at fixed prices.
If it's indie accoutrements you crave, Etsy is pretty hard to beat. As a marketplace for independent designers to showcase their wares without the costs associated with a brick and mortar shop, it's a go-to if you're looking for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that you won't see everywhere else. Plus, it feels good to support a fledgling designer and stick it to our mass-producing culture. Network partner Stereoette makes and sells her own jewelry at her Etsy online store. She also recommends Gavin & Lily, and Holly Stalder.
If it's vintage you seek, our network partners have you covered. Shrimpton Couture is a treasure trove of vintage finds and is currently offering 15% off of everything on the site until May 31. Debutante Clothing lets you know where to find the great vintage styles and tips you off to the best eBay and Etsy shops. Zuburbia always features an enviable vintage pick of the day and provides a well-edited list of links to vintage resources.
Perhaps our economic woes will force us to become better, more resourceful shoppers. There will always be a niche to serve those discerning consumers who won't be satisfied with what traditional retailers try to peddle, and as long as we continue to seek it, the market will respond accordingly.
Looking back on all of the Fall shows, from New York to Paris all the way through to Australia, collections were not without recession-referencing trends. Although the recession will affect consumers differently, particularly depending on their geographic position, certain uniform signifiers have permeated the fashion industry. Two important trends are characteristic of a recession (the United States has been through seven recessions since 1980) and they are quite opposite in nature. For one, we see more conservative cuts, darker colors, garments that encourage more traditional notions of femininity (can't you just see those magazine headlines, 'The Feminine Side Of Fall') as a response to the economy. It's fashion's little bow to the somber mood brought on by an economic downturn. We saw this, in particular, in France. Black was everywhere on the runways quite possibly because Paris is home of some of the oldest, most reputable design houses and also because, if there is anyone who knows how to dress with good sense, it is the French. In New York, the second of the two trend was more obvious, namely, that of opulence. Like a tilt towards conservatism, the opulence trend is an easy one to unravel. In times of economic hardship we cling, we seek, we indulge in that which separates us from the pack. To this end New York in particular saw fur and jewels, velvets and lace, details that signify craftsmanship and expense, tacked on to almost every collection that went down the runway. The same lack of surprise strikes us here, that is, If there is anyone who knows reckless excess, it is Americans. Yesterday we ran a piece elaborating on this stigma, where we considered American consumers and their battle with the psychology of quality. Check it out here.
Cruise season has officially begun! Fendi, Escada and Elie Tahari showed off a few of their designs to Women's Wear Daily. Karl Lagerfeld went straight to the 70s for inspiration but thankfully kept things clean at Fendi. Escada was a little more scattered but played it safe with color. Tahari went with florals.
Chanel is taking over Miami with its preparations to show their Cruise collection on Thursday. Chanel is launching a widget the day after the show. It will allow Chanel fans to view clips from the show as well as interviews. Taking the bloggers right out of the equation.
Burberry will open a boutique in Cannes just in time for the film festival.
Dov Charney, CEO and Chairman of American Apparel, was honored as Retailer of the Year at the 15th Annual Michael Awards for the Fashion Industry.