Less Fashion for New York Fashion Week?
The granddaddy of North American fashion shows, Mercedes -Benz Fashion Week, kicks off September 5th in Manhattan. While industry staples like Phillip Lim, Badgley Mischka, Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Kors and Zac Posen will be showing their Spring 2009 collections beginning tomorrow, there is a dark cloud hanging over the tent in Bryant Park.
John Mincarelli, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, predicts that the suffering U.S. economy will result in simpler ready-to-wear designs hitting the runway this season.
"There'll be exquisite designs but things that can be worn," Mincarelli adds. "In this economy and the tenor of these times, a lot of designers will have more basics and less fashion. Women will want something they'll be able to wear for several springs. The same with menswear."
David A. Wolfe, creative director and trends forecaster for The Doneger Group, concurs:
"These clothes for spring and summer of 2009 will hit when the economy is at the lowest of the low." Styles will reflect the times, as they did in the Great Depression and in World War Two, he said. The 1930s brought long somber hemlines, and the 1940s saw fitted women's suits.
Even Project Runway's Tim Gunn, of "make it work" fame, notes that:
"In this sort of climate, I believe that customers are more inclined to invest in core quality items for their wardrobe rather than ephemeral, throw-away fashion, and they will want and fully expect the quality to be there."
No one is saying that the shows or designs will be boring, by any means, just more practical. Over-the-top collections will be absent within most Spring 2009 lines, but designers aren't predicted to be sacrificing their penchant for ingenuity, skill or creativity.