Spring 2009 Collections: Whats
black and white and read all over? (Other than the
Lookonline, of course)
On October 9th, 2008, the Dow Jones dropped a record 679 points. At the same time I heard the news, I was sipping a glass of wine and busily reviewing images of the spring 2009 collections, which had just ended in Paris. While the financial analysts who met with news reporters were using caution when using the dreaded C word (as in crash), the situation was soberly described as a severe global recession.
Just about one month prior, I was reading the October issue of Harpers Bazaar and had just begun to leaf through the pictorial spread on Julie Macklowe whose walk in closet (probably larger than most New York apartments) features, among other things, shelves designed to contain her colorful Hermes Birkin bags which were lined up all in a row for the photo op, and a room specifically designed to house her collection of ball gowns. In the background, I could hear reporters on CNN chronicling the grim financial downturn. Whats wrong with this picture? .
It seems rather surreal, if not downright criminal to be weighing in on the merits of items that can easily cost well into the 4 or 5 figures, or to read about disposable it bags that cost as much as some homes, when most of the world is just struggling to get by (or worse) and everyone nowadays (regardless of the size of their personal fortunes) is watching as their nest eggs slowly dissipate. Its somewhat like viewing an episode of Rod Serlings Twilight Zone, though that was fiction and this is all too real. Which ever way to look at it, it seems the partys over. And its impossible to ignore since all one reads about or hears about these days is the financial debacle. Its been the headline of every newspaper, and even when its fashion related, almost every article is being covered from the vantage point of this catastrophic situation. We are all being forced to rationalize our purchases, rethink our spending habits, and the use of our credit cards. Since this is the beginning of the big fall season, with the holidays looming in the not so distant future, it couldnt be a worse time for retailers.