Few over-the-top parties. Fewer stars. Not even a decent goody bag. What has Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week come to? Granted, it’s hard to be fab in a shaky economic climate with consumers leaning more toward Kmart than Kors. But despite the subdued mood, celebs made the sartorial pilgrimage: Survivor: Africa’s Ethan Zohn modeled at Perry Ellis, Monica Lewinsky and Alan Cumming dropped by Cynthia Rowley, and The Princess Diaries’ Anne Hathaway took in BCBG. And at the recent fall 2002 shows, there were still a few style tidbits to be found.
THE NEW BLACK IS…White, which was seen everywhere from Bill Blass to Luca Luca. ”It’s just so fresh,” says Izabella Miko (Coyote Ugly). ”Black is black,” counters The Sopranos’ Lorraine Bracco. ”I think that’s a song, too.”
IS LUXE REALLY OVER? On the eve of the collections, Giorgio Armani declared it was, and shows such as Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss were definitely minimalist. ”We came from a time where luxury was a frivolity,” says Sex and the City costume designer Patricia Field. ”Frivolity is over. I don’t think luxury is over.” Pity PETA — fall’s take on the good life is fur, seen on jackets at Michael Kors and Donna Karan.
WHAT STYLE WILL TRICKLE DOWN TO A TARGET NEAR YOU? Calling Marcia Brady: The peasant look (at Anna Sui and Tracy Reese) is back, says Mossimo Giannulli, designer for Target’s surprisingly hip line. ”Since you’re dealing with middle-America bodies, that blousy look makes a lot of sense.”
IS THERE A TREND THAT WON’T SWEEP THE NATION? Quilted skirts. Bob Mackie and Bill Blass trotted them out, but who’s going to wear something that makes even a rail-thin supermodel look hippy?
— Clarissa Cruz (additional reporting by Alice M. Lee and Missy Schwartz)