The Fashion Statement: For Sex or Abstinence?
Designers are in the midst of a heated argument at Milan fashion week-whether one should dress for sex or dress for abstinence in a global recession. Seems a fitting debate in a country where the famously womanizing Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Pope Benedict XVI are its two most powerful leaders
On the celibate team sits Miuccia Prada, who practices restraint on a regular basis (well, by Italian standards). She further reigned in her collection (well, by Prada standards) to include charcoal knee-length walking shorts, Fifties-style swimwear and demure day dresses. The ever quirky Marni showed knee-length shorts and paired them with thick-strapped shoes with thick soles worn with beige ankle socks (I can hear my boyfriend's protests now). Roberto Cavalli went AWOL from his I'm-too-sexy position in the marketplace, putting out modest peasant dresses with hems stopping mid-calf.
Then again, sex sells. Versace stayed true to form. Sex, sex and more sex with Donatella's brand of cigarettes afterward, thank you. Slits cut up to there. Necklines cut down to there. Cut-outs revealing erogenous zones. Towering stilettos. Short, short, short. (Definitely more my boyfriend's speed, I'm guessing.)
Gallery: The Fashion Statement, 10/01/09
Salvatore Ferragamo kept it clean with neutral-colored jodhpurs, sheer blouses and wide-hipped skirts (yellow versions pictured above). And Bottega Veneta's Fifties yellow sundresses, crisp white sundresses and short shorts are the picture of innocence.
In fashion, it's always push-pull. Artistic vision and sales. Runway and reality. Advancing designs, but not venturing too far ahead that you alienate customers. In tough times, this struggle escalates... and sometimes becomes contentious...because there are companies and jobs at stake.
The style cognoscenti from all over the world are mulling over which pieces will likely ring their registers. No easy task.
I'm also more than a little curious how this tug of war will play out. So I ask you: When it comes to fashion, are you in the mood for sex these days? Or not?