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Market Report :
Finally...The fall winter 2013 collections have officially ended. Disclaimer: While I attended many of the shows here in New York, I did not go on to London, Milan, or Paris. But I did follow the shows on line. This is admittedly not the optimal scenario, but thanks to increasing coverage on a global scale, (especially where the Internet is concerned), each season, it gets easier and easier to get a good sense of what has transpired, even if you're not there in person. And from my perspective, this was indeed, a very good season. More importantly, there was a tremendous amount of variety across the board (even though at times, there didn't appear to be). As always, when there's one recurring theme going on (and on and on), there will always be it's polar opposites (sometimes within the same collection), and this was quite apparent this season. There were plenty of reality based wearable designs (proof that designers are factoring in the real needs of today's woman), AND just enough of those eccentric, fantastical moments, and flashes of brilliance (or at least, inspiration), to keep things visually and artistically arresting.
While it's hardly the only story, (as I said, there are contradictory exceptions to every rule), in a nutshell, this season is about a strong, no nonsense woman who's ready to take on the world and who's not afraid or intimated by anyone or anything. There was a pervasive military feeling (instead of teetering precariously on dainty stilettos, the models were practically storming or should I say stomping the runways in their sturdy heeled boots, as if to hone in the point). There was a palpable and most welcome feeling of ease and comfort (Marc Jacobs showed endless takes on pajamas, the ultimate sartorial statement about comfort, and he even wore them at the end of his shows). There was a noticeable loosening up as the silhouettes of the clothes went from big and bigger, to BIGGEST (yes, that was THE BIG story). It was hard not to notice that many of these body obscuring designs were rather tomboyish, if not androgynous, and decidedly un seductive (in that obvious way). I couldn't help but think of something designer L'Wren Scott (Mick Jagger's girlfriend) observed, regarding man-pleasing fashion: "Men understand it as long as it has a waist".
Let me put it this way, The Man Repeller's Leandra Medine will be having a field day with this season. According to her website, www.manrepeller.com , man repelling is described as "outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive mode that may result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls, shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs". There was an across the board emphasis on exaggeratedly proportioned pieces, and this was most exemplified by a plethora of over-sized coats and jackets (many of which could easily fit portly New Jersey Governor Chris Christie). Needless to say, a little of this goes a long way, and while it's fun to experiment with proportion (which is what fashion is all about), some of the more statement making pieces would be difficult to pull off unless you really have the right 'attitude' and are built like a model (very very tall and lean). In my opinion, when the pendulum shifts back to more fitted (as we all know it will), I think many people will be pleased.