Growth in luxury sales is expected to slow as the economy bounces back — or as it seems to be bouncing back. Luxury companies like LVMH and PPR have been doing fine — great considering the circumstances — but are still approaching the business of selling very pricey clothes and shoes and bags cautiously. If that already seemed painfully evident on the New York runways, it will show in the runways of Milan and Paris — the cities that put the high in high fashion — according to trend forecasters. Gucci, whose spring 2011 collection just walked in Milan today, didn’t even have a mirrored runway. What’s that, you say? But Milan LOVES mirrored runways. Yet look at Gucci’s from today, which hadn’t so much as a sheen to it — it’s as matte as nude panty hose.
Designers are turning to classic looks that won’t dash out of style like a scared cat the following season.
“People are still adjusting to life after the crunch,” said Averyl Oates, buying director at U.K. department store Harvey Nichols. “If someone is looking to spend a large sum of money on a coat for instance, they want to be sure it isn’t going to become redundant next season.”
That Gucci bondage dress from spring 2010 is ripe for knocking off, so by the time the middle of the season rolls around, any average high-school chick with a hostessing job and a debit card can buy the thing at Zara or Forever 21. And what rich woman who can afford the real deal wants to spend the money on an item that might just make her look, frankly, cheap? Bloomberg continues:
“Although sexiness remains the trademark of the Gucci woman, my guess is that we are not likely to see bondage dresses on the Gucci catwalk for quite some time,” Paola Brandi, visiting professor at Paris-based fashion university ESMOD, said in a phone interview.
Longer skirt lengths and elongated silhouettes, which emerged last season at Prada and Louis Vuitton and continued during New York Fashion Week, may feature in Milan and Paris, according to WGSN’s Evans. Looks inspired by the ‘70s, such as “high-rise flared pant shapes,” and “a sort of deluxe hippy feel,” may also return, said Jodie Ball, WGSN’s fashion editor of catwalks.
As much as you may hate the idea of high-waisted hippie pants, or full below-the-knee skirts that seem to only shrink any woman below the height of five foot eleven, there is an upside to all this, and that is that models on the runway shouldn’t be so easily confused with Scores waitresses moving forward. And in the near future, hopefully that will apply to the average chicks enjoying one last hurrah in their diaper shorts as the season’s warm days draw to a close. We would like to make a plea, though, that no matter what comes back into fashion, the nude panty hose stay in a time capsule buried deep, deep under the ocean floor.