I am such a procrastinator. I always wait to the last minute and use the excuse, “I work better under pressure.” Well this time pressure has bit me in the ass and caused me to miss out, seriously miss out on the most highly anticipated collection since Tom Ford’s last collection for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. I am referring to the Nov. 10, debut of the Stella McCartney Collection for H&M. I waited till the last minute to inform my best friend, who happened to be off work that day, to go to the store and play personal shopper for me via camera phone. I’m on tour right now, so I was unable to fight the gang of fashion desperados myself. However, in my self pity I couldn’t help but to think about the good side of all of this. Fashion designers have finally realized what Halston did (though ridiculed heavily for succumbing to the temptation of creating inexpensive collections and licensing): that all quality clothing does not have to have a $5,000 price tag attached to it. Voila. Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfield collections at H&M, Cynthia Rowley and Isaac Mizrahi for Target, Jean Paul Gaultier, Pierre Hardy, and Vanessa Bruno for LaRedoute, etc.
Why have designers wisened up to the calls of the mass consumer? Why question it? I’m just glad they have. Why should all the fashion fun go to those with the name status of a Paris Hilton and the pocketbook of a Lauder (as in Aerin Lauder)? In my opinion, fashion should be more of an expression than a bank-breaker. However, I do understand that you do get for what you pay for and good quality clothing that shows the labor, materials and general thought process of making it deserves a more expensive price tag.
Being an extreme Halston fan of his earlier collections (I’m not too much of a Bradley Bayou fan); I am always quick to defend Mr. Halston’s career choices and paths he chose to travel. Therefore, I will say that although back in the early ’80s it may have seemed Halston had lost all sense of direction (which in some cases he has, designing 101: never allow your name to be put on anything you did not design yourself.) But when it came to tapping into designing collections that are less expensive, maybe Halston was on to something before his time. Maybe as odd and un-glamorous as it seemed, it really was an idea, a venture to hold on to, tightly. Stella McCartney’s line sold out across the country in days, hours in New York, with price tags ranging from $10 to $170 and looks just as polished and hip as any of her pieces on the runway.
I’m glad the fashion design elite have given all ranges of fashionistas a taste of what living “the good life” could be. I have too many times browsed magazines, watched shows, did prayer after prayer in retail stores, wondering when and how I will be able to afford that Mulberry “Roxy” handbag, or Dior (real, not fake) sunglasses, a Martin Grant trench, etc. Thank you Stella, Jean, Karl, Isaac and many other fashion design icons that realize that “Fashion is what Fashion does,” and you don’t have to put off paying a student loan or rent to do it.