MILAN — Miniskirts and micro-dresses may be storming the runways here, but some retailers and editors are questioning how far they’ll go in real life.
"The liposuction doctors are going to be licking their chops," quipped Linda Wells, editor in chief of Allure. "Usually, there’s an association between short skirts and a good economy. Maybe designers are trying to make that happen. It seems a bit like forced optimism."
Joan Kaner, senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus, said she’s hoping to find longer options in showrooms.
"Last night, the models were yanking the dresses down to cover their rear ends," she said, referring to Tom Ford’s parade of tiny dresses at Gucci. "For the young, it’s fine. At designer prices, you’re catering to a different woman and I don’t see that many women running around in skirts that short."
Kuwaiti retailer Majed Al-Sabah said most stores are likely to buy very short styles for enticing window displays, but he expects a tiny minority of women to wear it, given what he sees on the streets of Milan and Paris.
"In my market, no one could wear them," he said. "Most of the short dresses, I’ll buy them as tops and tunics."
Julie Gilhart, vice president and fashion director for women’s at Barneys New York, said the store would be buying into the look for next spring.
"It’s all about a very slim pencil skirt or a short miniskirt," she said. "Short feels right, now. Anything long doesn’t look new."
But the predominance of extremely short skirts, also seen at Prada, Fendi, Jil Sander, Max Mara and Dolce & Gabbana, is prompting a lot of reflection.
"I don’t think a lot of the designer customers are going to be able to wear that length, as much as they might like," said Charla Lawhon, managing editor of In Style. "There comes a point in every woman’s life when she probably wouldn’t wear a skirt so short."
Wells noted that the last time such short skirts were in fashion, women wore them with dark tights. This week, they’re being featured with bare legs. Elizabeth Saltzman, fashion director of Vanity Fair, applauded the look as irreverent and fun, perfect for young pop stars, "rock chicks" and the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Cameron Diaz.And for mere mortals? "Time to hit the Stairmaster," she said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast