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Designers look to fashion of recovery

Steve Chiotakis Oct 1, 2009

Designers look to fashion of recovery

Steve Chiotakis Oct 1, 2009


Steve Chiotakis City of Lights is all aglow for the next seven days with Fashion Week going on. Designers and models are showing off everything from the subdued to the over-the-top. Given the economy, the trends have been to tone things down.

Project Runway’s Tim Gunn is with us now. Episode 7 airs tonight on Lifetime, and he says reflections of the recession are in the runway shows and there are fewer designs on the runway.

Tim Gunn: And the most obvious thing being that there were many fewer looks on the runway, which is certainly an indications that there are fewer items int he showroom, there are fewer things for retailers to buy.

Chiotakis: You think designers on the show are thinking about the recession?

Gunn: Well, I believe — and I’m projecting a lot of my own thinking into our designers — I believe that they’re looking beyond that economic downturn and they’re really designing for that moment. As opposed to thinking well, we have these, this dreadful economic condition and horrifying unemployment, and a retail calamity around us, and what do we design for this particular time and place? That can only be dreary and gloomy as far as I’m concerned, and we really want to look at getting out of this and at what lays beyond it.

Chiotakis: And so what does a recovery fashion industry look like? I mean, what are they shopping for?

Gunn: Well they’re shopping for items that will have a long life in your closet for one thing. And they’re not going to buy something new that has a very limited place in their wardrobe and in their lifestyle.

Chiotakis: You think that’s going to be in the recovery as well, or do you think people will start, you know, going all-out again?

Gunn: I think it’s going to be awhile before people going all-out again. When we come out of this, I think it will be with a huge sigh of relief and people will be moving forward cautiously. At least I hope that they will. Because I do think that there’s a silver lining to this, and a recalibration of thinking about what we buy and what these items mean to us.

Chiotakis: And do you think there’ll ever be a time we get back to the $26,000 handbags?

Gunn: I hope not Steve!

Chiotakis: Tim Gunn, we do appreciate it — fashion consultant, TV personality — we appreciate you being with us this morning.

Gunn: Thank you very much, Steve. It was great to be with you.

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