Filed under: The Fashion Statement
The haute couture shows in Paris are in full swing, but rather than enjoy the spectacle, fashion watchers have the nagging suspicion they are witnessing the end of an era.
Sure, clothing that can cost as much as a house, have little relevance in today's world-only a handful of women in the world can afford the custom-made pieces. And fashion houses like Jean Paul Gaultier, pictured above, create the looks mostly for press and to promote brand awareness and maintain an image. (Dita Von Teese guest strutted in black wire and stockings.) But the Great Recession has sped up the decline of an institution of fashion, the highest level a designer can achieve, the crème de la crème of the biz. It's sad!
Signs of decline are all there. Shows have been reduced to six spanning three days. Sets have been pared back. Givenchy eschewed a show altogether to stage "presentations," or museum like display on dress forms-a sure sign of financial conservatism.
"Why not just hang a sign on the door that says, 'Shut?'" wrote Cathy Horyn yesterday in The New York Times.