I suppose it must be the economy, but equally I think it's fashion's own desperation and exhaustion: I am truly bored with 'trends.'
Here's the Guardian with a list of what we're to expect:
Massive shoulders at shows like Balmain mean the style will last way into 2009.
This silhouette rules for next season - bodysuits at Jil Sander and Balenciaga, and tight pants at Givenchy.
If your heels are huge, like the YSL Tribute boots, then a scrum will form around you, looking for the sort of killer shoes that saw models tumble at Prada.
When Carine Roitfeld began arriving at the shows carrying her phone and nothing else, the big-bag trend was over. If you must have a bag, then make it a clutch, like those that were just seen at Balenciaga.
I am going to be following none of these. I was at L.K Bennett yesterday taking back the shoes which Av had deemed not right for my dress and I was only offered an exchange or credit note. It was a real struggle to find any non-stilettos (I don't wear flats) and in the end found a pair of square-toed purple patent pumps with a stacked heel. When I got home there was an email from a fashion editor friend telling me her day-in-day-out shoes are stacked heel platforms by Stewart Weitzman from Russell and Bromley. So even the fashion editors aren't wearing these sky high shoes. Walking through Hanover Square yesterday I saw three young women who were; they were chatting on the windy street before turning and trooping painfully back into Vogue House, headquarters of Conde Nast. Their bosses know better.
I confess I have been on a buying spree lately and this must be the last gasp before the retail economy contracts and we start to see bankruptcies. I bought a scarf and a necklace yesterday. I could still be wearing them at 80 and might have to.
We know there must be fashion even in a slump. That's what fashion is, that's what fashion does, it rises above. One of my favourite films is Preston Sturges Sullivan's Travels, about the necessity of laughter. But fashion needs to remember that in a depression we're all going to need cheering up, and art school clothes that belong in an art installation, self-referential and ultimately quite boring, are literally museum pieces.