February 15, 2013 1:49 pm

Designers preserve fabric of New York show

While most New York designers seem to have accepted the current transformation of the shows as inevitable in today’s livestream culture, others are simply in denial – or taking a stand against it.

Derek Lam, for example, pared his trademark sportswear down to its essence in camel capes, navy and white satin T-shirts with sailor pants and simple tunic dresses with crochet trim – all almost determinedly non-showy, but with a certain rich reduction. At The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen continued their serenity campaign through clothes with fluid layers of tailored jackets over tunics over gently cropped trousers, Eastern-inspired embroideries and silks, all in shades of black and cream, all impossible to label with an age or a date.

And Victoria Beckham likewise refused to play to any rafters, continuing faithfully down her declared path of evolving, gently, her signature body-conscious streamlined silhouette, this season via longer, more languid hemlines, 1960s dropped-waist dresses lit by electric bright geometrics, and evening tuxedo suits, the jackets sliced at the sleeves to create a cape.

It’s probably no accident that two of the refuseniks, the Olsens and Mrs Beckham, come from the celebrity world; they’ve been there, done that, and are clearly opting not to go back via fashion. The question is whether the industry, and consumers, will allow them this indulgence. It would be nice if the answer was yes, but fact is, channel surfing is ingrained behaviour in all of us these days. Why should fashion be any different?

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