Friday, March 07, 2008

O'er The Ramparts We Watched

In a think piece in the Times about the Paris fashion shows, Guy Trebay makes the trenchant argument that designers are "spooked by change":
Faced with overwhelming shifts in the way clothes are manufactured; with the widespread dispersal and pirating of information on the Internet; with markets broadening to encompass not just familiar consumer elites, but entire swaths of the globe; and with the knowledge that their boldest efforts seem puny compared with the chess moves being enacted by the multinational titans who employ them, a lot of designers are befuddled. What should they do? Change careers? Why not, instead, reach into the costume trunks... and play pretend.
He goes on to call the shows "a valiant defense of the ramparts of chic," meaning a lot of black and nostalgia, or what I call "my everyday wardrobe." I found myself the other night at Starstruck Vintage in the West Village, and scored a perfect tiny cardigan with bracelet sleeves and a faux-fur portrait collar and an Izod tennis dress, both as black as midnight on a moonless night (thank you, Agent Cooper).

I've been shopping vintage (and Starstruck) for almost 30 years, but change (in the non-fashion world, anyway) doesn't faze me - in fact, I tend to lead and agitate for it. I'm always amused by retro-futuristic references, though, like the look below on all the models at Yves St. Laurent, which reminded me of this:

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