The past year has seen the fashion industry suffer casualties with the infamous (as we try not to clench teeth tirelessly typing this term) recession. From the fail of greatly anticipated local fashion weeks (Glasgow being one of the victims) to the “surreal” loss of Lacroix couture no one and no industry was safe. Vogue offered More Dash than Cash rewarding its readers with the reassuring notion that it’s not only us fashion fans that are tightening our (stylish) belts.
Today the rumours of the closure of Yohji Yamamoto were quelled with the news that the label has revealed a new management team and strategies for consolidation.
The gloomy forecast for fashion future finance is brightening which in turn brightens up our own gloomy financial woes.
And with the reality of the recession affecting everyone, some designers are beginning to appear accessible and additionally like one of us ‘real people’.
Vivienne Westwood’s collection unveiled at Milan Fashion Week yesterday moved on from the usual unaffordable luxurious collection extreme to the opposite end of the spectrum reaching out to ‘real people’.
Inspiration coming from a lawyer friend who works for a homeless charity, Westwood’s collection was described by one fashion editor as “homeless chic” and the orange boiler suit worn by one of the models was described by another as “Guantanamo chic”. The collection is reminiscent of the ‘Derelicte’ collection in the Ben Stiller comedy ‘Zoolander’.
The collection has been met with both praise and criticism. Her collection has alluded to the recycling of clothes, suggestion to wearing them over and reinventing them.
This is like music to the ears of fashionistas who suffer unfortunate anxiety in relation to the recession.
You may criticise the collection, criticise the concept, but that is one critique fashion hot mess will not follow. Vivienne Westwood has through this collection and the messages it has delivered enlightened fashionista recessionistas that she is still one of us. Fashion is affordable and the Dame has just demonstrated this.