NYC’s Fashion Week and FNO Post Mortem

Bold, bold, bold!!

Let us explain.  Today marks the end of the September Fashion Week here in New York City.  It got kicked off last Thursday with everyone’s favorite incredible, worldwide, synchronized fashion party, Fashion’s Night Out!  Believe it or not, FNO is only four years old.  It was started as a way to help to jumpstart fashion shopping in the recession-crippled economy with the backing of Vogue Magazine and its publisher, Anna Wintour.  Who’s Anna Wintour?  Well…

“Anna happens to be a friend of mine, a fact which is of absolutely no help in coping with the cold panic that grips me whenever we meet.”  -Barbara Amiel

So it probably wasn’t invented as a gigantic, global fashion block party.  And that’s what it has become: a night of insanely fun mini-parties filling every boutique clothing store and department store in every major city in 19 countries spilling out onto the streets.

We mean that literally.

This year, the crowd skewed a bit younger than it has in the past, and it seemed as if the designers were anticipating that.  After all, the final night of the DNC was scheduled for the same day as FNO, and young people are notoriously poor voters, so it might have been some smart reading of the tea leaves at work there.  Whatever the reason, “young” and “informal” seemed to dominate the windows and stores.  From the more preppy looks…

To “modern hipster”…

To everything in between, but still on the same wavelength…

The celebrities and designers on hand were usually dressed more formally than the collections of the stores they were helping to promote!

We recommend against the golden loafers, though.

In fact, women’s clothing completely dominated, easily outnumbering the displays for men’s clothes by four to one.

But as if to prove that Fashion’s Night Out is not Fashion Week, the runway shows on Fashion Week went in very different directions.  The key word?  “Bold!”  No, seriously, every fashion journalist on the planet said that.  And we agree.  The stripes, crazy patterns, wild color selection, leather, suede and frayed edges of the Spring Collections displayed all scream “look at me!”  After last year’s dark look, and the previous two years’ austere designers, it makes sense that we were getting a bit antsy and ready to go for broke.

Apparently, if Boy by Band of Outsiders is any indication, so for broke that we’ll be living on the beach. We’re strangely okay with this.

But to be honest, as fun as Fashion Week and FNO are, they don’t mean much in the scheme of fashion.  Yes, we can get some general ideas from them (generally looser, less-form fitting and more colorful designs will be in vogue next year), but this certainly doesn’t mean we’ll all be dressing as hipsters in lime green stripes.  Ultimately, FNO is about getting people in the door and paying attention, and Fashion Week is about selling fantasy.  On those counts, they both succeeded.

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