New York Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2008:

“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” (and so is ‘fashion’ and ‘sexy’)

Past articles:

Fall/Winter 2007 Report
Spring/Summer 2007 Report
Fall/Winter 2006 Report
Spring/Summer 2006 Report
Bernadine Morris "Ten Best Looks" of the Spring 2006 Season
Fall/Winter 2005 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Fall 2005 Season
Sprijng/Summer 2005 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Spring 2005 Season

Fall/Winter 2004 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Fall 2004 Season
Spring/Summer 2004 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Spring 2004 Season

Fall/Winter 2003 Report
Spring/Summer 2003 Report

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

Fashion is not about ONE look, ONE length, ONE proportion, ONE mood, or ONE anything. It’s all about the yin and yang that always exits, the point/counterpoint side of things. The one thing that is positively guaranteed on the international runways is that if there is a trend, there will be a flip side to that (where there’s volume, there will always be lean; where there’s color, there will always be the lack thereof; where there’s masculine, there will be deliriously feminine; where there’s minimal, there will be ‘to the max’, and so on and so forth).

If you really wanted to dissect this season and examine it under a microscope, you would have to say there was an overriding supremely feminine feeling that abounded; but the flip side to that was an underlying menswear vibe (sometimes schizophrenically mixed together). And while dresses continue to be a major focus, with dizzying variety in terms of length, proportion, and fabrication, this season was also marked by a Great American Sportswear ‘comeback’. This was exemplified by the jacket, the pivotal piece, (as it was for fall), which can be worn separately, or as part of a suit (matched or unmatched, masculine or feminine, traditional or non traditional).

And while prints and patterns were THE STORY and seemed to rule the runways (looking particularly fresh are those with an abstract, artistic, painterly quality), there were plenty of solids as well. Sheer and see thru was counterbalanced by opaque and covered up, and an emphasis on the waist was tempered with a loose, flowy, easy silhouette as well.

And as always, the way the audience dresses, seems to mirror and mimic the runways and tends to serve as a barometer of what will follow (talk about life imitating art). Since the weather was sultry, humid, and summer like, even though the calendar proved we were heading towards fall, the effortlessly cool ease of a dress proved to be the perfect solution and was the hands down uniform of choice. And it wasn’t the little black dress but the dress which was covered in some sort of print or pattern (all the better when it was colorful and upbeat). There were bold abstracts, painterly brush strokes, stripes, flowers, and most of all dots. In fact, one can say from the look of things that the fashion world has gone positively ‘dotty’ this season. <

There was that Banana Republic ad which was plastered in seemingly every magazine, newspaper, and fashion daily, featuring its ivory silk dress covered with oversized black polka dots; and Diane Von Furstenberg even took her après show bow in a loose oversized polka dot chemise, which mimicked a style shown (in an elongated version) on her runway.