Fashion News: Easy or Innovative?

This week’s fashion news segment comes to us courtesy of Western Bonime, our Marin County Darling.
Western is a fashion journalist, designer, and an instructor at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

Karen Horyn knows fashion. She should, she’s been reporting on it for a gazillion years for the New York Times Fashion section. So when she speaks up, it’s worth a listen. In a recent article in T magazine, she talks about how fashion has become obsessed with constantly changing silhouettes and striving for creativity over wearability. As a former designer, I have mixed feelings. I know that those of us in the craft are artists and need to be able to make statements with the clothes we design – about life, art, people, the world at large. But fashion has always danced a difficult dance between art and commerce. The part of me that has watched the birth of fast fashion and sees the waste dumps of clothes that are piling up every day is on Karen’s side. Yes, we need to slow down. Yes, we need to buy quality, less quantity.

I have a deeper reason for wishing this too. We buy to feel better. No wonder the phrase “retail therapy.” I know for a fact that a woman’s soul needs a bit of shopping now and then whether it’s clothes or home furnishings or a delicious meal. We were born gatherers. It’s in our blood. But as every woman knows, you shop and there’s a high that fades and whatever emptiness you felt before is still there waiting for you. So buying is not the answer.

Whatever side you fall on, there is good news from the NY catwalks this season. Even Marc Jacobs who usually designs for his cultish street youth following went simple and elegant this season. Designers are pouring on the wearability with beautiful black and white 70’s frocks that simply float, elegant and comfortable sweaters, and easy slacks. Colors too, are simple and straightforward. Here’s some context from the Catwalks.

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What’s your view on the growth of fast-fashion and this year’s counter-cultural phenomenon?

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Written by Western Bonime