Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sign of the times? Uh, right...

The great yet curious thing about art is that you can derive so much meaning from something so simple. Let's take the image of an airplane flying in the sky. You can say it is a symbol of freedom and an unbound desire to reach out to totally different cultures and societies. But then again the plane could symbolize a penis penetrating the sky.

This type of free interpretation translates to fashion (Though I hope there are no references to penises. You may have seen this reference to girl parts). Is it right for to describe certain looks as depression chic? I'm sure they meant that these looks referenced the 1930's, NOT the economic times.

I'm getting tired of fashion writers noting that designers are creating their collections with the recession in their mindset. See all those bright colors on the catwalk? They symbolize optimism and looking forward to better times ahead! Oh, wait. How about those somber, stark colors? Well...those can be a reference to this sad recession as well, right? Please...I'm sure there are some designers who were economy-conscious during the process of creating their spring garments. But so many collections are being interpreted in the wrong way!

Let's go through some of the looks categorized under the "depression chic" trend...

Is this Jil Sander dress so simple that it's depressing? Love the shoes, though!

Stammy looks a bit depressed in this stained Miu Miu number. Cheer up, Jess!

Love Roberto Cavalli's take on the flapper dress!

Love Alberta Ferretti's take on the flapper dress, too. That light fringe paired with silver colored stones and sheer material is gorgeous!

I can't tell you how much I love Marc Jacobs's spring 2009 collection. It is in no way depressing...all those colors, textures, patterns, and references unexpectedly but perfectly complement each other. As Jacobs described his collection, it is "familiar but fresh". Indeed we have seen those Americana, far Eastern, and grunge styles before but never put together in such a profound way.
The gingham tops do remind me of Little House On the Prairie fashions (ok, I admittedly never read the book or watched the TV series) but I'm pretty sure Marc Jacobs didn't make the economy his inspiration.

This Vera Wang dress is simply gorgeous, something that would be donned by an A-list celeb. The only thing that depresses me about it is that I will probably never even lay eyes on this dress in it's physical form!

What puts this Just Cavalli dress in the depression chic category is beyond me.

Out of all the looks, this Burberry ensemble best fits the "depressing" title. I can't really tell, but from what I see, the coat is a bit wrinkled and the fabric looks slightly worn in. That huge patchwork canvas bag and socks in oxford heels look is fit for a nomad. Call it hobo wear. Chic hobo wear that many covet! There's a really grunge-ey thing going on here with the light fabric and the stunning earthy brown ombre. Okay, maybe this collection isn't so depressing. I love it! I should write a review on that collection later.

Banner image: myvintagevogue on Flickr. model: Katharine Hepburn. "Depression hurts", heh. Photos: Marcio Madeira for

No comments: