as phlegmatic some try to act in regards to the global recession, the truth of the matter is that we are facing the worse economic crises since the great depression. the great depression however also gave birth to one of the most creative time in fashion. it was the era when elsa schiaparelli and the avant garde idea flourished side by side with vionnet's beautiful classicism. where hollywood glamour became the opiate for the people. but times have changed and in this day and age where hollywood has lost its mystery and aspirational beauty have become passe the only thing that really stands out now is individuality.
for most of us who are part of a generation that never experienced those situations first hand, there is obviously going to be a lot of uncertainties on how to react against it. those doubts, the fear of having the life we've become accustomed to for so long ripped from right under our feet creates a sense of panic that the world of fashion isn't immune to.
to fully summarize what the recent autumn/winter 2009 collections felt could be summed up into one word...confused. on one end of the spectrum there is this need to mask the gloom by painting it with over the top exuberance and opulence by channeling an era reknowned for its excess, the eighties. on the other end is this decisively aggressive movement that almost feels like a battle cry where clothes become metaphors for strength and tenacity. either way, both evokes an image of a woman who is in control of her destiny and sexuality and for whom fashion is the visual vehicle she uses to convey the confidence of her personality. and while these two muses, though aesthetically different, it still creates a potent image that can become quite overpowering. push one idea too much and it becomes a caricature of the past and do the same thing for the other and it could easily take away too much of a woman's femininity.
while the eighties and noughties power dressing will for sure be the two strongest trends for the upcoming season, the best collections to come out have been the ones that were so independent with their vision. it came from designers who have always traveled their own distinct routes. these designers went back to what their core beliefs are and they used it as the inspiration and the catalyst that resulted with the most provocative collections of the season. and because of its conviction, there is a confidence that comes through that is able to stand on its own regardless of the seasonal trends emerging.
it has been said that it is during these times that creativity is fostered and the best designers proved it this season. maybe finally after years of brand obsession and trying to have the latest "it" bag or "it" shoe everyone else will finally realize that fashion isn't about looking like everyone else. its about you looking like you, but the best you only you can look like. hopefully individualism becomes the silver lining during these uncertain times.