Fashion and Fortune, Crisis and Creativity

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Photo by Marcio Madeira and from style.com

Recently I’ve been hosting a lot of fashion shows. My 3 year old’s bedroom which houses the dress-up toy chest serves as “backstage”, while my 2 year old’s room functions as the runway. My daughters are the models/princesses and I am the DJ, master of ceremonies, and audience rolled into one. I love to see what crazy concoctions they’ll walk through the door wearing. One thing is for sure…every outfit MUST include wings! But amidst the clunking heels, enthusiastic wand waving, and billows of tulle and organza, I got to thinking. What does our current economic crisis mean for the world of fashion design?

High-end clothes are NOT a necessity and I don’t own any couture designs (*wistful sigh*). I teach my daughters that it’s the princess’ kind heart and leadership skills that matter, not the poofiness of her skirt or the sparkly shine of her crown. Still I follow shows because innovation, style, and artistry, deeply inspire me. Enter Style.com with their list of the ten 2009 Collections that “will count come spring.” They make some pretty good points such as “In uncertain times, a name like Chanel is something you can believe in.” Amen.

D&G honored their signature style, but changed it up just enough to keep us interested. Marc Jacobs, ever the over-achiever, did his 2 collections (his own and Louis Vuitton) with such unique flair and relentless design precision that it boggles my mind. Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, slam-dunked it with perfectly draped designs that I can only assume, feel as good as they look. Sometimes when I’m feeling down, just the process of attempting to look good can go a long way towards cheering me up.

The economic forecast for 2009 might seem shaky, but I’ve often found the best response to crisis is creativity. Hard times frequently force us to rise to the occasion and test some of our weirder and wackier ideas. Will haute couture become irrelevant some day? I’m not sure. For now, I’ll continue to examine and learn from the market and style trends that make the fashion industry so artistically cutting edge. Yesterday my eldest said “Mommy, today let’s pretend that our fashion show is in a tent in New York City.” So apparently I’m rubbing off on my kids. As long as they continue to use and care for their precious imaginations as they grow…I think they’ll be alright.

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