To most people Fashion Week means nothing.
New York Fashion Week ends tomorrow. To most people (aka those who can't fathom slinking through the gilded doors of Joan Shepp), Fashion Week means nothing, especially in light of this week's Super Tuesday, which eclipsed the event for any American who values their citizenry more than their closet.
Perhaps, though, Fashion Week means even less than nothing. "Nothing" implies it holds no value in our lives, that it has no relevance or repercussions. It implies ambivalence where none exists. To mean "less than nothing," though--that indicates the scorn we civilians express toward the runways, the 14-year-old gazelles who strut them and the Page Six "it" girls who occupy the front rows, taking notes on which frocks to puke on at which red-carpet parties.
Sure we love the tartan pantsuits and fuzzy antler headdresses from afar. We drool over the satin Louboutin pumps on Bluefly.com, covet the Rag & Bone blazer in this month's Glamour and pretend we live in the cashmere embrace of the Boyd's front window.
But we'd never pay $3,000 for a handbag. Hell, we're not sure we'd pay $70 for the majorly discounted Michael Kors clutch at Loehmann's, or pennies for the Gucci knockoff from the street vendor. Besides, we like to think we're individuals.
It's not that we don't care how we look. We care a lot. We just think we're responsible for our own sartorial decisions. We don't wear what the designers tell us to, and we certainly don't buy everything the fashion editors instruct us is flattering. (They lied about shoulder pads once; they could do it again.)
We know the jeans that flatter our curves and the purses that schlep our stuff, and we certainly know where to look for inspiration: the girl at the Khyber in the leopard print; the guy on the Green Line in the striped sweater vest; the bouquet yellow roses on our desk; the Hitchcock blond in our DVD player.
We assert we don't need high fashion because it has nothing to do with us, nothing to do with our creativity or budgets or aspirations. Right? Well ... kinda. Anyone who's seen The Devil Wears Prada knows where I'm going with this: I'm going to grudgingly admit that fashion filters from up to down, from the designers to the magazines to the boutiques, department stores, H&Ms, Urban Outfitters and Talbots. Even the worth of our vintage finds and DIY reconstructions seems to fluctuate with what's chic according to Who's Who.
This doesn't mean designers don't headhunt and appropriate our underground looks. It just means fashion is a twisted, cyclical beast of an industry. Current high-fashion trends might mean "less than nothing" to professed individualists like you and me, but they sure as hell don't mean "nothing."
Just don't be averse if fall 2008 rolls around and you find you can't live without, well, some as-yet-undetermined trend. I only pray to God it's not the Miss Sixty fringed mukluks that premiered on Sunday.