New York Fashion Week where top designers showcased Fall-Winter 2011 Collections drew to a close with a definitive fashion statement – Long, Lean & Ladylike! Among the oddball indicators of the economic future, hem lengths are one of the more popular. Urban lore says short skirts reflect a bullish stock market and hems drop when people get down on their luck. New York Fashion Week wrapped up yesterday and, one of the take away messages is longer hems are here to stay. Ne fret pas: That doesn’t mean we’re in for another meltdown. In fact, the industry has been showing signs of a turnaround. Nevertheless, hems lowered in the middle of the downturn and longer silhouettes seem to be having a lasting effect on fashion.
Except for a nod to the ’70s last season, Marc Jacobs has been playing with a more demure, sophisticated look for a few seasons now. For fall 2011, he showed grown up silhouettes reminiscent of Dior’s New Look from the ’40s in futuristic materials such as a metallic rubber, fur and cellophane. Donna Karan’s ‘look for the boardroom’ (her forte) was clearly enamored with ’50s silhouettes for today’s all-business woman. Tippi Hedren and Grace Kelly are the two names that best describe the Hollywood glamour Karan managed to add to her working girls. Carolina Herrera who claims to be inspired by “real women” presented simple trousers and dresses with a real woman in mind. Straight ahead; nothing fancy; very wearable, except for flourishes like a high-necked fur collars and wide-cuffed leather gloves. Even the bad girls – Mulleavy sisters at Rodarte took to good girls — Prairie girls. Inspired by the film Days of Heaven they showed gowns that billowed with wheat prints lining their hem. To that, they added craft-like quilted apron dresses and floor-dusting coats.
That’s not to say that partying ’70s references have disappeared altogether. Michael Kors’ fall collection is solidly rooted in the disco era. To prove the point, Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder mixes blared as long, lean gowns with deep V-necklines sailed down the runway. And the ’70s have largely dictated the modern trouser: high-waisted, loose and flowing — a very welcome respite from years and years of skinny.