Two hundred and fifty designers, nine days, and an unfashionable recession had me wondering what to expect from the Fall 2009 shows last week. With stores closing left and right, and shoppers pinching their pennies, could I still expect over-stuffed gift bags, over-the top shows, and over-done after- parties? Well yes and no. Sure, the shows must go on (and did to some extent) but designers definitely addressed hard economic times with paired down presentations and tried to design for the changing needs of scrimping shoppers.
Certainly shows were scaled back and extravagance was at a minimum. A few designers including Carmen Marc Valvo even ditched the idea of a tent show at all, choosing instead to present his line in an off-site lounge. After-parties (including the one famously thrown by Marc Jacobs) were more often than not canceled, and goodie bags were hard to find. Even the actual collections were edited down— designers chose to present tighter lines with far fewer looks.
The truth is, maybe this all isn't that bad. Designers returned to focusing on fashion and less on who was sitting in the front row and what celebs would attend the after party. It became once again more about the clothes and as a result we saw smaller collections with stronger points of view. Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief, said that designers were forced to collect themselves, return to their roots, and think more creatively. And this my fellow fashionistas, is a good thing.
Well how about the lines, then? Did the designers address the stylish needs of our dwindling clothing budgets? Indeed they did. Some presented pieces that reflected the idea of investment dressing — well-made styles in black and white that were classic and would last season after season (or until the economy gets better). Other designers opted to give women something special that they might not already have in their closets. They designed for brighter times showing neon colors, metallics, and sequin. Either way, it was apparent to all that dealing with diminished dollars is a fashionable necessity. Boo hoo.
With that said, there were many beautiful looks seen down the runway. Check out our favorites in the slide show above.
On a happier note, the most stylish co-ed we know, Shelby Holiday, shared her experience at fashion week. Check it out here!