You may have noticed that I haven’t posted a blog about the “fall must haves” or the “top trends” or anything about those essential new purchases. I’ve not proposed any segment to the producers of the weekend news either, which would explain why you have not seen me on air at NBC5. (That may also explain why this morning some woman from the Northbrook Court mall did a marketing segment on boots for fall– a trend I told NBC viewers about last fall.)
It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for anyone (involved in any capacity in fashion) to keep a level head. It’s been trying for retailers who can’t budge merchandise off their shelves. It’s been trying for consumers who wish they had kept the receipts and the tags from their last few purchases.
And it’s been an epiphany for fashion critics who had to sit though the ill timed orgy that was Spring 09 fashion week in Milan and Paris. I cannot remember the last time I read fashion review after fashion review that was fraught with the meaning of life. Fashion reviews suddenly turned into tracts on sociology and freakonomics.
It turns out the state of the global economy is actually forcing most of us to take the meaning of everything, including fashion, seriously. That, at least, is seriously good news.
Thursday morning I flew to New York to meet with a client. Within minutes of landing at LaGuardia, a woman remarked “great pants!” For the rest of the day, hardly a half hour went by that someone, from people with whom I was doing business to strangers on the street, did not say the same thing. There was an audible stir, I kid you not, when I walked into Harry Cipriani on 5th Avenue for dinner. A very good looking twentysomething tried to pick me up later in the evening with the tried and true pickup line “love your pants.”
Okay, I thought the plaid wool pants were really great too which is the reason I plopped down $245 at Marc by Marc Jacobs in Bucktown several weeks ago. I have been secretly pining for the weather to get cold enough to wear them.
At the very moment I feared that fashion (and style) had suddenly become frivolous to everyone (especially to someone like myself who takes it seriously), those damn pants reminded me that fashion/style, or a keen eye for it, has the power to attract, command attention–respect even–and garner favors from corners near and far.
I’ve been making some version of that case to my clients for years. It’s nice to confirm for myself, in spite of the times we now live in, that I haven’t been blowing smoke up anyone’s skirt.