The NY Spring/Summer 2005 Collections: ‘C’mon, get Happy!’

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Please note: numbers in ( ) in the text below are links to photos. All photos by Randy Brooke except for Ralph Rucci by Ernest Schmatolla. This article is best viewed with browser set to "full screen".

“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of…Happiness”….(Which comes with having a perfect wardrobe). Forgive me if this comes off as sounding corny or contrite- and perhaps you can blame it on the fact that Olympus Fashion Week coincided with the 3rd anniversary of 9/ll/01, or that we’re ensconced in an election year with a (very bitter) presidential election coming up, or that we’re at war, and troubling world events seem to dominate the news, but during the recent New York spring collections, I couldn’t help but reflect on the way in which fashion is all about life’s simple – or maybe not so simple pleasures.

And while on the one hand, all of the above should help put frivolous fashion into proper perspective (and I certainly do NOT mean to overstate it’s importance), but on the other hand, we cannot underestimate how much lighthearted joy fashion can bring to our lives, and we can’t lose sight of the way in which clothing can contribute to our overall well being by helping us look and feel good, and giving us confidence to face the world.

And from the look of the runways which were filled with a preponderance of appealingly fresh, upbeat, happy, colorful, pretty, often charming and expressive clothes, it was obvious that the designers were intent on supplying us with a dose of non-prescription Prozac, providing welcome diversion from the bitter realities of life, and wanted to give us something to look forward to and smile about- however temporary. And while I don’t mean to imply that freedom of choice vis a vis fashion is up there with, say, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom to pursue happiness, etc., it is nonetheless a freedom which none of us should take for granted.

And having said that, 7th Avenue is certainly providing the customer with enough variety so that exercising his/her freedom of expression and freedom of choice – well, at least in terms of one’s wardrobe -- will be easily accomplished come spring. While it may up for debate whether or not this was New York’s finest hour, one thing that cannot be argued is the sheer variety of the clothing and fashion philosophies presented on the runways - a trend that happily shows no signs of letting up.