Although many might not want to admit it looks like the recession is here to stay and the tables have turned on the fashion industry. The designers are known for setting the scene when it comes to what’s hot and what’s not but interestingly with cutbacks and curbed spending habits the big fashion houses are the ones who are having to responding to the economic crisis to ensure their survival.
What has been classified as recession fashion has seen a return to classic traditional lines and a focus on more traditional investment pieces. Even the most flamboyant of consumers are tightening their purse strings and chopping up the plastic. Even style advisors are encouraging their clientele to revamp and combine old garments from their wardrobe agreeing that accessorizing is the key this year. So, how are the top names in the fashion industry coping with the current cautious climate?
Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfield, Gucci and Prada, all known for their luxury and forward thinking designs are now returning to the past years of economic crisis for inspiration and although sales are down the fashion savvy are still buying. The big fashion houses are confident of their survival, but why?
Both male and female outfits have switched to minimalist, straight, crisp, vintage and traditional lines and neutral palettes. Scaling back, downsizing and getting back to basics seems to be the key elements of collections.
Military and aviator themes are commonplace as collections seek to symbolize not only a seriousness but strength. Slick, tailored suits are present in many collections and recent reviews have seen cufflinks and ties for both men and women have a renewed popularity. Interestingly ties are thinner and cufflinks less embellished and simplified. Individual pieces such as jumpers, trousers and shirts have been broken down and created with combination in mind.
It should be noted that not all designers have followed this trend, notably Dior opted for exaggerated and excessive styling in their summer collections and consequently received very mixed reviews but neon colors, short hemlines and ruffled sleeves are clearly popular with consumers. Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, has recently stated that the fashion industry should not run scared and stick to the expected but not many consumers are looking to overdress. The male fashion industry has, understandably taken a lesser knock as most designers consistently to stick to traditional conservative lines no matter the economic situation.
Designer garments are also going on sale a lot earlier than previous years and downgraded pieces are up for grabs. Retail outlets are reporting that dresses are being put on a back burner while more conservative pieces that blend and last for several seasons are selling well. The big names in fashion are facing the crisis head on but it has been reported that many now realize the intense consumerism of previous years will not be making a return anytime soon.