Additional articles:
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Fall 2003 Season

Past Spring/Summer 2003 Members Report

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The headlines for Fashion Week could have easily been, "Seventh Avenue Throws a Curve", "Seventh Avenue has a Fit", "Seventh Avenue Gets Into Shape", because oh what a 'fit'-ting week it was! Okay, enough of the puns. But needless to say, my overall impression of most of the clothes - or at least, the best clothes - presented on the runways for the New York Collections, is that there has been a very timely, welcome, and renewed interest and focus on precise tailoring, cut, fit, construction, proportion, and the lost art of dressmaking, not to mention an all out celebration of the female form. This was exemplified by a constant focus and emphasis on the waist, an embrace of the hourglass shape, and the plethora of designs that appeared to be for the most part shrunken, tight, molded, seamed, curved, cropped, and fitted to within an inch of their lives.

Notwithstanding all the hoopla being made over the element of escapism in fashion (exemplified by the return to the madcap mod 60's - translated most literally, colorfully, and youthfully, by Marc Jacobs: (1, 2, 3, 4) - who also showed some of the shortest minis in town. It seems that the designers have really taken into consideration the needs of their customers and sobering world events, and have infused their clothes with reality (has the immense popularity of 'Reality TV' played a part in this?) and commercialism. Adding just enough oomph and interest to make them desirable and new, and thereby giving the customer a reason to go out and buy.

Gone (well, for the most part anyway) are silly tricks and designs that seem more appropriate for costume parties - this was a season strong on 'important' coats, well cut jackets and suits, great knitwear, separates, and 'items' - the category that retailers will gleefully tell you is performing well.