Big Apple Diary
It's a time for new found heroes… starting last week when a distressed US Airways Flight #1549 "glided" miraculously on to the Hudson River thanks to the expertise of pilot Capt. Chelsey B. Sullenberger III and an experienced crew.
The optimism continues when Barak Obama takes the oath of office Tuesday, as he becomes the 44th President of the United States. All are hopeful that this administration will follow through their promise of change. But one thing is for sure; our new first lady Michelle is already the master of change as she is being touted as the new fashion icon.
Let's talk about Michelle Obama… she has proven over & over again during the campaign and following the election how to dress for success "off the rack". She appeared on a popular daytime talk show "the View" in a black & white print sundress designed by Donna Ricco from specialty chain White House – Black Market and then did it again when she appeared on the late night talk show Jay Leno in an outfit from J. Crew. She has also been spotted wearing pieces from the Gap and H&M stores.
Her style preference is rooted in up & coming American design talent, not couture. In many cases she has been ahead of the curve cause she created the buzz on yet to be recognized American talent. Names to watch…..Maria Pinto (the infamous purple-royal sheath!), Isabel Toledo, Narcisco Rodriguz (the controversial black-red election night number!), Jason Wu, Thakoon Panichgul.
Michelle's fresh new style bridges generations of potential consumers. She is a no fuss, streamlined kind of girl with a preference for jewel tones and accessorizing! Even in this downturn she has given Fashionista's both at home and abroad a look they can aspire to and actually afford!
We are all aware that the rules of buying and selling have been forever altered as consumers exercise a new discipline in their shopping habits and retailers subscribe to a new set of rules in conducting business. Consumers are cutting back on conspicuous spending …..Retailers are cutting out marginal vendors, keeping inventories lean and going out of their way to gauge & improve customer satisfaction. By far the customer is on the side of higher benefits as the total "shopping experience" is enhanced with uncluttered floors, fewer fixtures, lowered prices on key items and focused assortments. Bottom line is that consumers have just stopped shopping and retailers have to find a way to kick start their interest. Frugality is the new mantra!
So keeping this in mind, for Spring'09 the retailer is challenged to find those pieces that their customers "gotta have" to reinvigorate their wardrobes as they dig out their favorites from the back of their closets!
After trekking the streets of Manhattan as well as the suburban malls new receipts are finally hitting selling floors at luxury, department and specialty store. It was obvious the #1 piece to buy is the new pant. After seasons of the dress and skirt as front runners it's time to return to a pant which covers a gamut of silhouettes;
« The voluminous, slouchy trouser…in drapey fabrics like silk, rayon & knits
« Slim & sleek in career fabrics as well as skinny denim
« Liquid, body hugging leggings
« The dhoti & harem pant
« Carrot silhouettes are very chic
« Soft cargoes & utility silhouettes in long pants or crops
« city shorts
Jackets and blazers;
« Rocker vibes in leather and denim biker silhouettes…the versatile topper to pants, the slim skirt or feminine cocktail dresses
« Man tailored blazers in elongated bodies…revamped classics
« Safari jackets
A new classic suit…a return to simplicity;
« Tailored & monochromatic separates
Spice up your wardrobe with a douse of metallics & shine..must owns in apparel & acessories;
« Bedazzle in silver or gold
« A dash of beaded accents
The new neutrals paired against electric jewels;
« Safari neutrals…khaki, caramel, olive green, burnished gold
« The freshness of canary yellow, coral, vibrant royal, turquoise, fuchsia, purple
« The sleekness of black & white
« Graphic prints
« Animal & reptile prints
« Vivid plaids &v checks
« Mixed prints that convey the new Boho
Accessorize -Accessorize…go for the most unconventional:
« Bejeweled heels & sandals
« Multiple chain necklaces doused with charms (toys & flora) & jewels
« Stacked bangles…the more the merrier
« Craftily layered additions
And so, while millions of Americans will be eagerly waiting for President Obama's inaugural address, I myself will be observing the inaugural fashion statements as Michelle's "designers of choice" are revealed at the swearing in ceremonies and the formal parties to follow. You can rest assured that the new DC Fashion Express will hold many years of exciting observations!