The hemlines were mostly short; the headlines, uniformly grim. As the fashion world breezed from show to show, the tumbling global economy sent winds of unease and whispers of budget cuts through the industry. During Milan, there were still signs of fashion’s confident global march, with Bloomingdale’s confirming its expansion into the Middle East and the Dubai International Financial Center taking a majority stake in Kuwaiti retailer Villa Moda. But by the time Paris rolled around, the dark clouds had truly settled in. “The economy is going to affect everyone,” groused Carine Roitfeld, editor in chief of French Vogue.
While Yohji Yamamoto paraded simple, funeral-like black designs with an occasional glimmer of white thrown in, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its single biggest point decline on record. The next day, Comme des Garçons unveiled a collection titled Tomorrow’s Black, featuring dresses resembling deflated footballs under towering Marie Antoinette wigs. Jeremy Scott took the Antoinette metaphor further, twisting the French queen’s infamous quote into “Let Them Eat Gas.” “At the time of the French revolution, it was le pain (bread) that the people wanted, now it is le pétrole,” said the designer, who hammered his message home with a smattering of gas pump prints.
By midweek, as France’s intellectual daily, Le Monde, proposed “Crisis: What Europe Can Do,” the fashion industry sent out strong shoulders and overt sexuality. “It’s a sense of feeling empowered and in control at a time when the world economy is in such turmoil,” explained Lane Crawford’s fashion director, Sarah Rutson.
When the International Herald Tribune asked “Who do you trust now?,” Chanel answered by delivering a collection inspired by postrecession romanticism with a giant backdrop of the Rue Cambon facade, perhaps to reassure the industry that Chanel’s house, for one, is in order. And, in a not-so-subtle signal to keep spending, models swung 31 Rue Cambon–emblazoned leather shopping bags down the runway.
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s sparkling, sequined Visa Card dress presciently marked “Société Nationale” was ironically the best-selling piece from his collection. “Maybe because, in a time of crisis, people want to be close to their credit card,” the designer mused.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews