New York Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2009:

Spring 2009 Collections: “What’s black and white and ‘read’ all over?” (Other than the Lookonline, of course)

Past articles:
Fall/Winter 2008 Report
Spring/Summer 2008 Report
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. This article is best viewed with browser set to "full screen". Photos by Randy Brooke.

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 Harper’s 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. What’s 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. It’s somewhat like viewing an episode of Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone”, though that was fiction and this is all too real. Which ever way to look at it, it seems the “party’s over”. And it’s impossible to ignore since all one reads about or hears about these days is the financial debacle. It’s been the headline of every newspaper, and even when it’s 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 couldn’t be a worse time for retailers.