In the nick of time

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”….Blame it on Rio (no, don’t blame it on Rio; I guess you can blame it on the heat, or on anything else for that matter). Regardless, I have so many things to get off my chest and vent about (complaints, issues, etc.) I wouldn’t even know where to begin. All I can say is, September, New York Fashion Week, and the beginning of fall can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

In addition to being completely bored with the uncomfortable heat and humidity (and really, what fashion lover worth his/her salt does not long for cool, or cold climes and the ability to actually start ‘dressing’ again), I am sick of being subjected to a parade of fashion faux pas, and worse by those who have seemingly taken the weather as an excuse to look sloppy, saggy, inappropriate, and unkempt. I’m referring to bouncy boobs, visible panty lines, visible bra lines, visible thongs, bare navels, bare midriffs, and bare bottoms. And too many bare toes and bare feet that are in dire need of grooming and pedicures and would be much better off hidden from view. And yes, guys, I’m referring to you too. Oh, how I long for tights, boots, pumps, high heeled loafers. All too much bare (and apparently, too many ‘bears’ as well. And how about all those recent bear sightings? But that’s another story).

What happened to the idea of modesty? (Just because you’ve got it doesn’t mean you have to flaunt it!) And speaking of modesty, am I the only one who is completely offended by the ubiquitous ads, “She’s so Jane”, which are featured throughout WWD (and seem to be placed on every other page), ‘welcoming’ Brandon Holley, Jane Magazine’s new editor in chief? (Brandon has replaced Jane’s founding editor, Jane Pratt). In addition to full page pictures of the attractive young editor, each ad also lists her many attributes and accomplishments (‘style maven’, ‘rule breaker’, ‘Adweek Hot List alumni’, ‘can change own oil’, ‘newsstand sales record breaker”, etc. and ad nauseum), Of course, Jane is a Fairchild publication, so to say this is self serving is an understatement. I know they want to make her a star, or a household name, but really, enough is enough already!

What else am I sick of? The rich hippie look, which has been so knocked off at every price level, it’s astonishing! Not to mention those newly manufactured sequined and printed circle skirts that are meant to resemble vintage Mexican circle skirts (and don’t even come close). And I’m tired of seeing women traipse around town during the daytime in their unwieldy floor sweeping broomstick or tie dye skirts that are supposed to look like Jean Paul Gaultier’s and which are now a dime a dozen on the street. In fact, I am bored with anything hawked by street vendors. To my way of thinking, that signals the beginning of the end to any ‘trend’.

What else bores me? All those mindless, unimaginative fashion clones who take the ethnic look too literally and wear their folkloric circle skirts, beads, espadrilles, peasant tops, caftan shirts, embellished and embroidered bags, ALL at the same time is way too much of a good, or bad thing. Just about now, I am longing for a return to crisp, classic, tailoring, and the eternal appeal of a chic little black dress. No tricks or gimmicks, just great clothes.

As for what I predict we will see on the runways for spring 2006 in September? I do think we will be seeing lots of black for the collections, black and white, black and pink (‘think’ Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel couture fall 2005)…and red!

And while I’m tired of the overdone ethnic and gypsy look, I do think ethnic will continue (particularly African influences) BUT, always mixed with something unexpectedly modern, ladylike, or classic to make it look relevant and uncostumey. Most importantly, I think (or at least hope) that New York designers will find a way to continue to address the needs of their customers, do what they do best and stick to their fashion instincts. I also think denim will be hot (look at all the important names that are doing denim licensees for fall and spring!) And while I think volume will continue, well, so will skinny…it’s all about going to extremes…nothing in between…extreme fashion (or extremely fabulous fashion).

Now again, what are some of our brightest stars planning to show in less than a month? Here is some more feedback:



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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