NEW YORK FASHION WEEK, FALL 2006: THE FRILL
New York Fashion Week is filled with so much visual overload and distractions, which are part of the circus like atmosphere, it is only in retrospect, in thinking and looking back over the 8 jam-packed days filled with endless rounds of shows, that one can really put it in proper perspective.
Notwithstanding the ever present bi-polar, yin and yang nature of fashion, which always guarantees that for every action there WILL BE a reaction and a flip side to each coin, there are always certain trends (and I hate that word but for lack of a better one) and recurring themes that come to define the season. So with that in mind, what stood out among the tangled web of clothes presented on runways in Bryant Park and around town?
For starters, there was a new subdued sobriety, a new austerity and, dare I say, a new minimalism that was very much apparent on runways around town. And while the selections for spring 2006, with all its white, ivory, and pale sheer layers, eyelet, lace, etc., may have had women resembling delicate flowers (regardless of the fact that heavy footwear provided a grounded balance), the sturdy armor like protective layers for fall 2006 spoke volumes about a dont mess with me, strong, able woman, who wants to project a no nonsense, ready to conquer the world image.
Perhaps you can blame it on the inundation and popularity of Reality TV but, as a whole, those who showed during New York Fashion Week seemed ready to pare down, extricate themselves from giddy, frivolous, superficial details, and get down to basics and the serious business of design. Designers seemed to have the reality of modern urban life on their minds (modern life as we know it in 2006, fraught with man made and natural disasters, and Mother Nature mercilessly wreaking havoc) what with all the textural hand knits, inventive layering, techno fabrics, athletic shapes, protective hoods, and cocoon-like coats and furs that paraded down the runways. Clothing that not only looks good, but promises to keep you feeling warm and cozy, protect you against the elements, and offer its own buffer or barrier, against an unfriendly environment or hostile world.