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Tuesday, February 17th 2009

emerging trend: dark & dirty rock n roll

Two rock-infused looks from the Jill Stuart runway.

At the Shopbop Scene party a couple nights ago at the Hotel Rivington, I spent some time talking to designers and editors about what they think women want from fashion right now. As I listened to the recorded interviews (more on that in our upcoming feature), I was astonished at how many of them repeated the same idea: "Statement pieces, but nothing over the top." "Something I can wear year after year.” Or, taking it even further: “Something I can wear for the rest of my life." Sounds like a lot of us are on the same page right now: wanting things that are special but that won’t look dated in a few seasons. Fortunately, fall has much to offer in this department.

Looks from the Alexander Wang (left) and William Rast runways.

Kate Wendelborn of Pencey said something I kept thinking about as I went from show to show yesterday: "People are very into the dark rock-and-roll look, which I think is a reflection of the times." Rock-and-roll and goth-inspired looks prevailed at Jill Stuart, William Rast, and Alexander Wang. And since variations on this style have been around since rock was born, in their own way these items are timeless. Key elements include leather (shorts, skirts, skinny leather pants, slouchy ones—you name it, I saw it in leather), velvet jackets, studs, faux fur jackets, exposed zippers, deep red, motorcycle boots, fringe, biker shorts, gold, shiny fabrics, and lots and lots of black. The look makes a huge statement, yet it's safe because it’s worked for decades. I was in the Morrison Gallery not long ago looking at a very old picture of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards backstage (they looked so young!) and thought to myself: “One of our designers should make those exact pants!” Guess they heard me.


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