How Fashion Dealt with the Recession

The recession’s first New York fashion week is come and gone. How’d it go? Pulitzer-Prize winning fashion columnist Robin Givhan writes that the recession appears to have cracked the fashion establishment in two: “There are designers who respond to the dire state of the financial system by doing some of their best or most creative work. The crisis serves as a challenge, daring them to make themselves more relevant and irresistible to consumers than ever. But another group of designers seems to be cracking under the pressure. Their indulgences appear even more narcissistic and out-of-touch than ever.” Designers in the former column include Derek Lim, Laura and Kate Mulleavy at Rodarte, Vera Wang, and the designers at Proenza Schouler. Givans writes, “the best clothes on the runway have been those that are desirable but also real. In the delicate balance between fantasy and pragmatism, designers with the most enticing collections have weighted the scale toward the latter.”