Shoulders are definitely strong for Fall 09. As shoulders become more dominant, jutting out or tower over, necks have been relegated behind intricate ruffs, fur collars, patterned scarves, or heavy, oramental necklaces. Maybe designers are telling us they have collectively decided not to stick their necks too far out for the Fall 09 season. Or perhaps instead of burying our heads in the sand, we should be covering our necks in an effort to hide from an ever-widening economic crisis that has not only closed its grips around our banking and retail institutions, but has also reached across European and Asian shores. There is an ancient Japanese saying that states that the man rules the head, but the woman rules the neck. In these times, it certainly feels the weight of the world hangs on our shoulders. Strong shoulders definitely require strong necks. In any case, designers, collectively, have decided we should hunker down for the long cold winter of this recession and cover up.
Kors has decided to tough it out with necks that disappear under heavy knitted turtle-neck sweaters, chunky 80s-inspired gold or silver chains, fur collars, and neon-colored wrap scarves.
Although Templerly showed her collection at NYC fashion week, Temperly London is a British designer who, this season, recreated the Empress of the Orient. Studded in hard metal and zippers, this woman is no shrinking violet. Temperly’s empress is prepared to do battle, her neck shrouded like the crusaders of the Middle Ages. The collection has an intensity that seems to echo the rage and discontent wrought from uncertain times.
Erdem greeted us with rounded, bouquet silhouettes. Colorful and fanciful florals fought against a backdrop of black, seeming to express cheer despite the sea of black in which petals in bright blues, yellows, reds, purples floated. Tulip-shaped dresses expressed a vulnerability and softness that definitedly would have warranted some type of protection and like Ralph Lauren, Erdem, wrapped his waif’s neck in wispy, floral ruffles.
Angela Missoni has proven a girl can cover up, but she can’t hide her sex appeal. The collection, in girly mauves, soft greys, apricots, and powder blues, was young and hip. There seemed to be an open exchange between obscurity with the use of cowl sweater scarves and transparency afforded by web knit layering.
Lanvin was severe in his judgement on the recession. His collection of 40s revival suits were highlighted by heavy, sculptural jewelry which rather than merely decorative enclosed the necks of his models in metal collars. The mannish cuts of his suits were dark; the embodiment of an austere, haughty–almost untouchable chicness.