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Sunday, June 16, 2024
The Observer

Film Fashion & Television Collide to Enhance Fashion Week Experience

Tired of living in sweatpants and the lack of inspiration in not exactly fashion-forward South Bend? Turn your eyes towards Fall 2010 Fashion Week, which began in New York City Thursday.
Now, it is easier than ever to imagine that you are one of the elite in the fashion world, due to the ability to see entire collections online only moments after the shows finish. Some designers, such as Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors, are even live streaming their shows online, making almost anyone feel like they have a ticket to a big-name fashion show.
Unfortunately, the week started out on a tragic note, as designer Alexander McQueen was found dead from apparent suicide on Thursday morning. This event has cast a somber tone on what should be an exciting time for designers, editors and all fans of fashion.
Luckily, there is always enough activity and drama during Fashion Week to keep people on their toes and moving from one show to the other quickly. Who will be the new up-and-coming designer? Which designers will strike out? What are the new fall trends? The answers to these questions are revealed little by little after each show.
Thus far, critics are hailing the collections shown by Peter Som, Preen and Chado Ralph Rucci. Chado Ralph Rucci presented an upscale collection filled with luxurious fabrics such as fur and feathers. The Peter Som show had more of a bohemian feel to it, mixing prints and layering beads and tweed. Preen showed silhouettes with both masculine and feminine elements.
There have been many other emerging trends that do not need to be saved for fall. Thin long-sleeved T-shirts layered under sleeveless dresses were shown at BCBG. Chunky knits, which are necessary for South Bend weather, were on display at Jason Wu and Lacoste. The latest style of blazer seems to be double-breasted, seen at Ruffian and L.A.M.B. One trend that hopefully will not be making a comeback in real-life wardrobes any time soon is the maxi-skirt, which was present in numerous shows so far. That is just a little too reminiscent of late-1990s teenagers.
If just looking at the beautiful clothes in the shows is not enough, there is real entertainment to be found in the behind-the-scenes action of the fashion industry. Two excellent documentaries about giants in the fashion world came out in 2009: "The September Issue" and "Valentino: The Last Emperor."
"The September Issue," the better of the two films, documents the making of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine, which is the biggest in the magazine's history. It presents a fascinating portrait of the mysterious editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who is without a doubt the most powerful person in the fashion industry. The contrast between Wintour and creative director Grace Coddington makes for some of the most interesting dynamics seen in any film in recent years, but it is made all the more appealing for the fact that it is real. "The September Issue" will be released on DVD on Feb. 23.
"Valentino: The Last Emperor" is also worth seeing. Valentino Garavani is one of the most important designers in the world. This film follows him at the end of his long career.  It is rare to get an inside look at how a legendary designer works and to see what inspires them. "Valentino: The Last Emperor" is available now on DVD.
For those who would rather watch the rise of the future in fashion, look no further than the popular reality series "Project Runway." Now in its seventh season, there is no doubt that this show has influenced the fashion industry. Past contestants Christian Siriano and Daniel Vosovic both showed collections in the last few days.
If you need a fashion fix, these are great options to get an intimate view of the important, the legendary, and the newest style-setters in the fashion industry. Fashion Week has only just begun, and there is much more glamour and excitement still to come.