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Musings On Spring Fashion

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[Woman In Black Dress And Woman In Red And White Cape.], Digital ID 824787, New York Public LibraryAfter a delay necessitated by my jaunt to the Southwest, I can turn my attention now to the latest fashion summaries. I usually find that the New York Times Style Magazine serves as an excellent bellwether for the latest word on fashion musts, pop culture, and targeted consumerism. The February 24 “Women’s Fashion Spring 2008” offers a wrap-up of all the trends in the recent round of spring fashion shows. The results are actually fairly agreeable and promising. First of all, the colors on view are great. Red is one, already foreseen in all the glamorous gowns worn by attendees of the Academy Awards. But I was also struck by the effusive hues of blue, yellow, and mint green that appeared in ads. 

To my great pleasure, articles in the magazine offered many takes on everything old is new again, including mentions of Pre-Raphaelitism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and retro modernism. Textile designs seemed to be tributes to ornamentation from those periods. An American actress from the 1920s was treated to a flapper evaluation. Big cuff bracelets were in evidence, a satisfying sign to me! Accessories were sensible and attractive, with one huge exception. The platform and stiletto shoes shown in spreads were among the most obscene styles I’ve ever encountered; the milder versions of this footwear had “dominatrix” stamped all over them. Two exhibition footnotes that appeared must be shared. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is having an exhibition on that enigmatic designer, Madame Grès, maker of divine draped and sensual dresses, through April 19; and “Wiener Werkstätte Jewelry” will show at the Neue Galerie here in NYC starting March 27. Got to see that one: the Wiener Werkstätte contributed greatly to Art Deco’s liveliness.