While attending the fashion shows for the fall and winter 2009 seasons, my assistant, Elisabeth, and I found ourselves continually speculating with others in the industry about where designers were going to take their collections, given the tattered economy. Some felt the trends would be conservative and somber; others wondered if designers would throw caution to the wind and create fantasy collections that retailers might shun. I am happy to report that the coming collections are anything but boring and depressing and are also remarkably wearable.
The past came back with a vengeance in creative and ebullient ways. In our feature Wild Things, the photographer Sean Kennedy Santos captured the 1980s trend by making it sexy, with strong silhouettes and bold colors and patterns. If you remember that style-challenged decade (I myself still have a few unfortunate reminders in the closet), I can assure you that these are the clothes we should have been wearing. A nod to the glamour and sophistication of the 1940s also turned up on the runway. Photographed by Brian Doben, Great Escape harks back to an era when women dressed in their best for travel, which at that time was as much about the journey as the destination.
And speaking of journeys, we profiled two people who took very different and exciting paths. The Chicagoan David Leslie Anthony (see Northern Exposure) has survived life’s ups and downs to emerge as one of the most sought-after fashion photographers in the world. And the perfumer Jessica Dunne (see Sense of a Woman), creator of Ellie perfumes, found her calling after she followed her husband to London and, without a job, realized her true passion was just over the channel.
We will surely continue to hear about the perilous state of the world and what the markets are doing minute by minute. But I am trying not to get bogged down with pessimism and doubt.
After all, what goes down must come up. So I’ll kick things off by wearing sky-high heels and taking up my hemline a few inches.
Photograph: Tom Corbett