f ever there was a time for interesting, distinctive and well-made clothing, itwould appear to be now. With the economy sputtering, it will take more thanbasics to get consumers to loosen their purse strings, and the price of agarment will have to be justified by its visible quality.
Falling oil pricesdid little to help retailers in August, as the majority reportedcomparable-store sales declines on Thursday for the month. Saks Fifth Avenue wasoff 5.9 percent, Nordstrom was down 7.9 percent, and Neiman Marcus reportedcomps slid 0.4 percent. And yet, at the start of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,optimism abounds.
“I’m hoping to see clothes that have a strong point ofview,” said Ann Watson, vice president and fashion director of Henri Bendel.“I’m looking forward to seeing clothes that are distinctive and have thatspecial ‘wow’ factor.
“Trends that change seasonally are what we call ‘fasttrends’ and they really set the tone for the season. It is this element of theunexpected that keeps us on pins and needles waiting to see what the designershave tapped into this season.”
“Anything new and different is going to seemvery appealing,” concurred Julie Gilhart, senior vice president and fashiondirector of Barneys New York. “I think the bigger, already established brandsare going to have a tougher time unless they do things they haven’t done before.We need fresh approaches that are more conscious, innovative and fun. Thisspirit will drive business.”
Customers have changed their buying habits, saidJim Wetzel, co-owner of Jake, a women’s and men’s boutique with two locations inChicago and one in suburban Winnetka. “There is a different practicality thatour clients are adapting to with less fussy trends, bright colors and luxefabrications with which they are familiar such as tweed and rinsed denim, headded. Jennifer Loporchio, co-owner of Dighton-Rhode in Greenwich, Conn., saidthat even the wealthiest of women are exercising a degree of caution today,whereas 18 months ago they seemed less concerned with prices.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)