On one level, fashion has never been of greater interest than it is today. Though lip service is given to the importance of the great designers, in reality, serious focus on their work, their craft, has been diminishing for years.
This is not to suggest that the millions who shop at all price points south of designer don’t want and deserve excellent design; that designers in those markets are not often extremely talented; that true design only happens at the high end, or that enjoying celebrity fashion is a black mark on one’s sartorial soul.
Rachel Zoe’s fun, contemporary launch is indeed interesting and popular, to boot. No one wants clothes designed with haste rather than haute in mind. Fabulous for the girl who wants an inexpensive pretty party dress that looks like a much more expensive pretty party dress, and hats off to Elbaz and others for delivering genuine chic on the cheap. Certainly each case taken on its own feels like a meaningful stylistic victory for the nonrich.
We see how the devoted high-end customer craves distinctive fashion. Just look at the relatively recent increase of interest in edgy collections such as Dries Van Noten and Rick Owens. Some luxury houses are grappling with issues that have nothing to do with the mock-off bandwagon. Given immediate access to fashion show visuals, the impatient public no longer wants to wait months to procure designer merch.
So, is Fashion becoming an endangered species?