The relationship between fashion and the economy is a running motif of District L's in depth industry analyses - there are few correlations in our society with such a tangible and literally visible impact.
The last few seasons, we were all privy to the effect the downturn had on the industry - classic looks oozing with timeless wearability made an especially spectacular re-emergence. Particularly palpable after the decadent, angular 80's glamfest of F/W 2009 to be certain. With the timely rise of recessionista chic, color and concept quickly began to play second fiddle.
Which is why, this season, we were pleasantly surprised to see designers lose their poker faces and begin to go all in. Chances! Risks! Gambles! A touch of the dearly missed caprice and whim of the industry had returned. This attitude was manifested no better than by the escapist, nostalgic, and in some cases almost fairytale-ish surrealism that many labels embraced for Spring, seen everywhere from Monique Lhuillier's seductive Eden enchantress and Toni Francesc's woodland warriors in New York to Mary Katrantzou's digital dreamscapes in London and Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini's youthful, evocative collection for Fendi in Milan.
But the fun didn't stop there - check out some of these moments from Spring 2011's Great Escape.
Post by Nicolas Sera-Leyva
Photos from Style.com and Jakandjil.com
"Rigor with sensuality" said Donatella of her spring collection, an elektra-fying parade of energetic, Grecian inspired looks that temper the brand's trademark oozing sexiness with a newfound element of aggressive restraint. Donatella has taken her signature diva - flowing mane, fishtail sequin gown and all - and yanked her back from behind into a highly sartorial, well-edited interpretation of the Versace aesthetic.
We've been seeing a lot of designers in Milan this season step out of their comfort zones and take new approaches to their design process. It stands to reason - with the global economy beginning to take a turn for the better, luxury customer bases are more willing to invest in bolder statement pieces. Versace S/S 2011 embraces the bold turquoise and tangerine hues we've been seeing, but contrasted with beautifully tailored high-waisted skirts and cutout jackets in beige and brilliant white. Take a panoramic view of any seaside island village in the Cyclades and you'll find the same palette - white washed concrete houses with orange tiled roofs and churches with turquoise domed naves.
Finally, the Greek key motif seen on many of the looks was a brave move by the designer - some might say it drives the point a little too far home, but we say it's an assertion of the traditional values of the Versace house.
Post by Nicolas Sera-Leyva
Images from Style.com
After a few tough seasons, it seems as if fashion yearns for a storybook ending. The industry's reaction to the economy last spring was like a scene from Alice in Blunderland - a child's defiant experiment gone awry. Last season, a sober Cinderella never made it to her ball. At last, this season seems like the final chapter of the fairytale, and as the trend would indicate, TIBI wanted to end her story on an upbeat note.
Against a picturesque, woodland background, Amy Smilovic succeeded in making us Happily Ever After. Feminine silhouettes in shades of mint, poppy, and daffodil, created a charmingly wearable collection in silk chiffons and lightweight linens. Fortunately TIBI, while always a crowd pleaser, is never as predictable as our childhood storybooks.
And in today's fickle climate, that characteristic is as valuable as spinning gold.
Post by Amanda LaMela