Less is in vogue — even in Texas. While the Lone Star State isn’t suffering in the recession as much as California, Florida, Michigan and other locales — with 6.7 percent unemployment in March versus the national figure of 8.5 percent — the downturn still has affected the previously free-spending habits of Dallas socialites. They still shop the high end, travel and party, but are venturing into their favorite retailers for specific needs and investment pieces and sometimes shopping their closets.
Natalie Chu Chu is a native of Singapore, where her late grandfather Wee Kim Wee was president. She now lives in Highland Park with her husband, attorney Wilson Chu, and daughter. She was mulling the purchase of a $4,000 Roland Mouret gown last week when she spoke to WWD.
“I have to say that right now, shopping is a surgical strike. I’ll go to downtown Neiman’s if my salesperson calls me, but I don’t love trawling the [Dallas] malls. I do my best shopping when I travel to Singapore and Europe. That’s when my mind is more at rest and I’m not running to carpool. I love all the Chanels in Singapore — four in a one-mile radius and it’s younger and more fun and you get tax back. Ngee Ann Shopping Center is the best. I’m buying more investment pieces that I can wear a couple times and mix it up. I bought a black wool Chanel jacket that I can wear casually or with dress pants.
“You rethink your values. You get five invitations a day, and now I’d rather hang out here with my child. I’m volunteering more — I’d rather give back than keep spending money on myself.”
Jeanne Marie Clossey Clossey’s charm and style have helped make her a leading Dallas fund-raiser, and she’s chairing her biggest project yet: four days of parties and performances to unveil the $320 million Dallas Center for the Performing Arts from Oct. 14 to 17.
“I definitely am shopping much less, and I’m not buying as expensive clothing as I did before. When you look at your portfolio and it’s half the value that it used to be — that’s daunting. And when you see how many people are suffering, an expensive dress doesn’t seem like the place where I want to spend my money. Plus, I have such a great closet that I’ve been shopping in. I realized I don’t need a new dress for every occasion.
“This spring I have cut my shopping by at least half, maybe three quarters. I bought three pairs of shoes — I cannot go without a new pair of [Christian] Louboutin shoes — but usually I might have bought six. Today, I bought a pretty Lela Rose dress at Neiman’s downtown that’s fun and reasonably priced and I can wear it a lot of places. I worry about fall because there will be so many social events, and I doubt I can slash my budget that much. I’m sure I’ll spend money.”
Tina Craig Craig transformed her shopping obsession into a profitable blog via bagsnob.com. Her family resides at Craig Ranch, a community her husband, David, is developing in suburban Allen.
“Before the recession, I probably shopped once or twice a week, and now it’s twice a month because I want everything, so I’m removing myself from the situation. I shop at NorthPark [Center], Highland Park Village, Forty Five Ten and [Allen Premium] Outlets. I just bought five pairs of winter shoes at Last Call that were 75 to 90 percent off.
“I’ve probably cut back 40 percent. My husband basically said, ‘You take over your bills, or you will stop shopping,’ so I took over my bills. All the husbands were saying, ‘If you can’t eat it, don’t buy it.’ Women should be financially independent, and when you come home with loads of bags, your husband just helps you put it away. I used to hide my bags in the trunk and an argument would ensue. Now we don’t know what to fight about.
“I’m not cutting back on Hermès bags because those are investments, better than the stock market. I have a fund of CDs so when a great Hermès bag comes up, I go into my little fund and pay for it. Other people have college funds; I have an Hermès fund.”
Heidi Dillon Dillon founded and leads the Fashionistas, a group raising funds to establish a fashion museum in Dallas. She lives in Dallas with her husband, Bill, a senior associate dean at Southern Methodist University, and their son.
“I am probably buying half of what I used to buy. I’m older and my husband is nearing retirement age, and with the shifts in the economy I became more chastened and circumspect about how I spend money.
“Dallas has always been a place where people love to get dressed and they dress well, but it has gotten a little more casual. Black-tie events that used to require a long gown have gone to a cocktail dress, like the Art Ball.
“I bought a number of dresses for this spring that are inexpensive, easy things to throw on, the sort of dressing where it’s not fussy and you don’t have to change your clothes three times a day. I like Diane von Furstenberg a lot — her prices are reasonable and it fits well.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)