Vail stylegazer: Less is really more in classic clothing |

Vail stylegazer: Less is really more in classic clothing

Laura A. Ball
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – I recently attended a lecture geared toward luxury retailers on New York’s prestigious Madison Avenue.

The message in a nutshell: Consumers want fewer, better things.

That is special, durable things – consumers want good basics that are truly functional.

And according to my sources, this creates a world where luxury and ecology merge. It is the retailers’ job to communicate this in new and fresh ways.

The main speaker, who shall remain anonymous, went so far as to state that disposable culture is over. But is disposable culture over? The out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new mentality? The need to replace what we already own?

The current economic crisis will have to last much longer to quench the thirst of Prada-hungry, Dolce-thirsty Americans. As we speak, millions are flocking to fashion chains and high-end department stores in search of summer’s hottest sandals.

There are some notable differences however in 2009.

One: Retailers now have to compete for your dollar. This means they either have to offer something better, something unique, something original but solid – and something that can’t be replaced.

Fashionistas want classic silhouettes with a twist. For example, the little black dress with sparkle. Fashion is no longer a world of black and white but a more grey, mediated world.

Two: This means we’re thinking about waste. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion. But at the cost of what?

It is up to us consumers to make a difference, to be conscious of the earth and what, why and how we spend our hard-earned dollars.

You can still be fashion-obsessed and smart. Just listen to Donna Karan, “Women don’t want to sort through a lot of clothes to get dressed each day. They want a handful of flexible, interchangeable items that completely transform in attitude and function depending on what they’re worn with.

“So each season I create a foundation of a wardrobe, ‘seven easy pieces’ give or take a few. If she buys nothing else, those pieces will take her through the day, night and week, as well as through her travels.

“Yes, you can add an accent piece here or there, but your base is covered, whatever happens. It’s a philosophy of style I live by.”

Well said, Ms. Karan, the epitome of style with a conscience.

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