The Fashion Clueless

Reading a recap of the recent spring/summer women’s ready-to-wear collections, I have to wonder (again) who the apparel designers think their customers are.

From the Fashion Group International’s descriptions of the recent runway shows, it seems the clothing makers want to dress women up like kewpie dolls, baby dolls, and other pre-pubescent getups that are totally inappropriate for the women who actually can afford the clothes they’re showing. Once again, they’ve hit on the winning formula of designing for a 22-year-old’s body while charging what a successful 52-year-old can pay.

And they’re back to mining the Sixties (again) for fashion ideas. How novel. I can’t count, even on both hands, the number of times the Sixties have been reinterpreted—or even how many times the reinterpretations have been reinterpreted. And lest you think the hideous sneaker/heels of the early ’90s were thankfully gone forever, you’re wrong. It’s ba-aack, this time as sneaker/sandal.

The silver lining (no pun intended) is that bad fashion presents a good opportunity for the jewelry industry. When the fashion news is a butt-grazing miniskirt and a top made from Tyvek (the stuff they wrap houses in for insulation), my bet is a lot of women will stick to last year’s favorite pantsuits and just buy a lot of new accessories. But given that jewelry wasn’t prevalent on many runways, it’s up to jewelers to remind their customers that real jewelry is one of the nicest parts of being a grown-up.