La Crise à Paris!? Judge for yourself: black and brights in zee house

Fashion week continues to chug along in Paris as onlookers and admirers ponder whether the effects of the economic crises (ahem, aka: la Crise) has officially weaseled its way onto Parisian runways. Judging by the looks of shows from the past few days it has…? Yes? Okay, if I had to go either way, I’d say oui oui. Here’s why.


Of course there was a great deal of black (what else is new, black is the new black), but there was also a strong presence of mixed brights and muted tones (Dries Van Noten, Stuart Vevers), i.e. canary yellows, deep rusts, cool blues, and vivid oranges mixed with soft roses and creams. Also, when it came to zee black, it was not just a drop here and there either (especially chez Watanabe, Gaultier, Sophia Kokosalaki), although again, this has been going on for more than a few seasons. Furthermore, despite a spotlight on brights, one must note the decision to tone down these more vibrant hues with muted—very muted—compliments. It’s “bright!”—but also brings about this sentiment of not too much, whoa now, it’s the Crise after all!


In addition to this, more than a few eyebrows were raised after a somewhat toned-down Lacroix collection (okay, yes, by Lacroix standards) that didn’t boast a shred of evening wear (sacre…!). Although for anyone who is familiar with French culture knows that flaunting a luxurious lifestyle à l’américaine isn’t exactly preferable, and that proudly possessing wealth in general is still considered…a bit taboo in some circles. Not that this has stopped previous fashion weeks…like ever. But still. Some might say, “This is Paris! Where’s the glamour!?” Designers are smarter than that. They know the city, and they tread lightly on potential faux pas-ing, especially while French cameras (and well, all cameras) are poised to capture their every mishap.


But the sensitivity to la Crise, of course, boils down to details; this sensitivity remains, generally speaking, purely aesthetic.


I mean come on. Something tells me that Gaultier/Lacroix bargain bins won’t be popping up anytime soon. We’ll have to settle for temporary treats like McQueen Chez Target for now.


For a peek at Fall/Winter 2009 color palettes in full, visit:



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