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Fashion Watch: Celebrities, Warfare and Target

Celebrities becoming designers, political unrest and the demand for designer labels for less are prominent trends in today’s fashion.

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.

Marc Jacobs’ minimalist chic fall 2007 collection was based on Bertolucci’s “The Conformist.” Jacobs’ collection comprised heavily tailored trousers and pencil skirts and blouses done in a subdued color palette. His runway was set in hues of gray, and many of Jacobs’ 56 models wore dramatic hats by Stephen Jones. A more modern inspiration for Jacobs was Stephanie Seymour; the simple pencil skirt and turtleneck she wore to a recent dinner was Jacobs’ inspiration for an entire collection based on her look.

One surprise at New York Fashion Week was the explosion of Target’s designer digs, created by Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. The duo created a more affordable version of their signature collection for Target’s Go International Program. McCollough and Hernandez are the latest in a host of Target design collaborators, including Luella Bartley, Paul and Joe, and Behnaz Sarafpour. The collections are for fashionistas on a budget; much of Proenza Schouler’s line for Target is under $50. Devi Kroell is next on the horizon for Target. Her luxurious python and anaconda bags are a regular fixture in Vogue, Elle, W and Bazaar. Kroell won Swarovski’s Perry Ellis Award for accessories design at the CFDA awards in 2006, and her line is slated for release later this year. Rafé New York launched an accessories line for Target in November.


For a detailed look at the headlines discussed above, see the following archived articles:
Celebrity Design Collaborations

Lydia Hearst:

We Aren’t in Montana Anymore
First Look at Scarlett’s Reebox Line
Beckham’s DVB to Unveil Denim

Designers’ military inspirations:
Insider Fashion Hits Mass Media

Vera Wang Fall 2007
Review: Art and Architecure
Full Collection

Marc Jacobs Fall 2007
Review: Precisely So
Full Collection


Target Designer Collaborations
Proenza Scouler’s Target Collection Pops Up at Opening Ceremony
Devi Kroell: On Target