By  on March 9, 2007

Celebrities becoming designers, political unrest and the demand for designer labels for less are prominent trends in today’s fashion. While the number of celebrity designers seems to be increasing almost exponentially, real designers have taken a more serious tone, as exhibited during New York Fashion Week 2007. The political and socioeconomic problems plaguing the nation are reflected in somber collections for next fall. From the looks of the empty racks, high-end designers creating affordable collections for the masses via Target is another hot trend.

Lydia Hearst, clad in Heatherette’s take on Dorothy’s classic blue and white-checkered garb, appeared in Heatherette’s rendition of “The Wizard of Oz” as the star of Traver Rains’ and Richie Rich’s fall 2007 collection. Hearst — socialite turned model turned Darfur activist turned designer — introduced her new line of bags, a collaboration with Puma and Heatherette.

In November 2006, Scarlett Johansson, Oscar-nominated actress and alleged paramour of Justin Timberlake, teamed up with Reebok to develop her very own Eighties-inspired line, which will include five basic pieces for everyday wear. The Scarlett Hearts Rbk collection, with a $40 to $100 price point, will hit stores in spring 2007. The line will be expanded in the fall to include accessories and an updated version of Reebok’s classic Aztec sneaker.

Tinseltown’s newest British import, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, is adding to her designing résumé and expanding her very own DVB lifestyle brand. Beckham’s line, which previously consisted only of sunglasses, will now include denim pants, skirts and shorts. The new DVB collection will open in retail venues in May.

Anna Wintour gave a rare interview on “The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2007,” an ABC special aired Dec. 12 and hosted by Barbara Walters. Wintour explained how fashion often reflects the mood of its surroundings. “We were so interested at Vogue to see how militant many of the collections were, because of the war. There was a real sense [that] women on the runways were going into battle,” Wintour told Walters.

During New York Fashion Week, political and social themes were visible on the catwalks. Vera Wang’s collection was inspired by 20th-century Russia. Models were dressed in Bolshevik ensembles, complete with head kerchiefs, and Wang evoked the historic uprising of Russian peasants against the Romanov Dynasty.

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