Okay, this blog’s title is a little of a tongue twister but I like to cover some news from the runway sometimes. This month the second anniversary of our blog looms and we hope to be giving away some cool stuff to our readers. This blog is about the disappearance of novelty and functional wear.
Americans have found themselves in economic hardship and when the going gets tough, the tough work longer hours and become more family orientated. And with time not devoted to either work or family, none functional clothing or seemingly individualism is frowned upon. So these factors probably lead to the closure of Betsey Johnson last month, who some critics stated her clothes lacked functionality, no mention of fun individualism. Can you say “ma vie en gris”?
Bill Blass is the latest designer to feel the pull of conservatism when he had to close his women’s wear sector and fire his 9 people team including the creative director. He also opted out of fulfilling orders for Lord & Taylor which came to a shock to many a fashionista. Meanwhile Betsey Johnson bounces back this spring (2013) by creating a dress line for department stores and asking fans on Facebook to provide images of vintage Betsey styles from the 60’s to the 80’s suggesting she may be opting for an installation like runway show.
Maybe, other designers will realize that department stores are the final frontier, where people are now looking to shop in one place (due to time constraints), conformity (doesn’t everyone shop here?) and competitive prices. Bill Blass may have made a mistake with Lord & Taylor and may have made up losses through that one order. Who can say? What I can say is that the American Consumer is changing and not for the better.
As for women now making up 50% of the workforce, that leaves less time for shopping and female lines are suffering. Yes we want to dress great for work but with the rise of casual work attire, and limited wages; it may not be possible to look good and work at the same time. It may be necessary for designers to focus on men wear and offer staple items to female shoppers.
As we wait for companies to wake up and stop sacrificing employees for marginal profit, a presidential election looms. Designers wait and so do we all.