The Shows Go On

— Mon, 25th January 2010 —

Albeit at a stiff-arm’s length, I do, er, acknowledge the circuses that are fashion shows. For all their self-indulgent wackiness, they do reflect modern culture and events, and even inform what die-hard traditionalists call “timeless style.”

From the Paris shows, which ended Sunday, Times columnist and fiery fashion skeptic Cathy Horyn sends good news: Versatility — that great bestower of value and convenience — is in! In particular, Horyn says with regard to Louis Vuitton designer Paul Helbers: “Designers often talk about blurring the line between formal and casual, and then proceed to define each as rigidly as possible, with casual being a potluck of sports and ethnic garments … and formal being business suits … Mr. Helbers, though, actually balances the two.”

Meanwhile, The TimesSuzy Menkes perceived the Paris shows to be “all about handling the heritage. Should you shake it, break it or fake the style of the past?” Interesting, but the idea that perpetuating heritage isn’t an option — only faking it — is a bit depressing. Likewise, Heraclitus believed that, “You can’t step into the same river twice,” i.e., nothing stands still because change is a central doctrine of the universe, which actually makes the perception of “timeless style” just an illusion.

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