Interpreting Runway Fashion

Since I work in NYC, I pass by the “tents” at Bryant Park almost every day where they are currently holding “Fashion Week” and it prompted me to write about how to interpret runway fashion.

As you are probably aware, the fashion industry shows the next seasons trends way in advance. Right now, Spring 2008 is being shown on the runways of fashion week while the rest of us are still wearing summer 2007 clothing.

I wanted to offer an interpretation of “fashion week” for real people out there who are either stay at home moms, students, working mothers, single mothers or regular, normal career women who wonder when they heck would they ever wear some of the far-out designs that runways and magazines show.

Some of the fashions you see and read about on the runway are simply for theatric purposes and really not meant to be worn on the street for everyday life. Besides forecasting upcoming trends, some of the styles are the chance for the designer to “go crazy”, get publicity and showcase some of their wild and far-out stuff for the press and fashion insiders who visit these shows. You’ve probably seen some weird looking hats or outfits on models that have been photographed at these runway shows and wondered, “who the heck would ever wear that?” Well, I’ve often wondered that myself until I worked in the fashion industry and learned it was not to be taken so literally.

There is a way to interpret these far-out designs into our normal everyday life. For example: a designer may show models strutting out on the runway dressed like 1930′s gangsters with pinstripe suits and huge fedora hats, machine guns and suspendered high-waisted pants. This is not to tell us that this is how we should go to work or on a interview. It’s more of a humorous way to interpret menswear-inspired fashion for women. First of all, look at colors. Are they showing mostly greys, flannels, stripes or solid colors? That tells you that grey may be that seasons new black along with pinstripe patterned trousers with a loose fit reminiscent of the type of trousers that actress Lauren Bacall wore in the 1940′s. Think “old Hollywood glamour”.

Is another designer showing a model wearing clownish bright shades with a goofy hat and garish makeup? Interpret that to mean jewel-tone brights (think jewel tone colored sweaters, for example, in royal blue, ruby red, or emerald green). Or, to spruce up your predominantly black wardrobe, add a pair of gloves or scarf in one of these bright colors. See how it works? It certainly doesn’t mean that you should go out and buy a huge tunic or oversized trapeze dress in circus clown colors. But, you just might want to pick up a couple of bright inexpensive throw pillows to liven up your living room couch. It even relates to home furnishings.

Runway shows are a lot of entertainment and flash and should not be taken too literally meaning — as far as what the models are wearing, walking down the runway with their shirts open and braless — so please don’t!

If any of you have any questions or comments concering runway fashion, feel free to e-mail us or comment. We’re here to help.

Happy Shopping!