I'm always linking to this whenever fashion comes up, but Tim Gunn really hit the nail on the head when it comes to fashion:
"I'm the first to encapsulate this realistically. Nobody needs it. We need clothes, do we need fashion? No. And fashion, when it's good, comes out of a context that's societal and cultural and historic and economic and political -- so it's of a time and a place."
With the world's economy going as it is, I'm not surprised to see designers sending throwbacks of the 30's and 40's down the runway: triangular shapes of softly square shoulders over sleek pencil skirts, ladylike long gloves, sturdy heels, not a whole lot of patterns, rather good solid black, tweeds, etc. There is also a lot of fur -- which, oy, I'm not nuts about.
Here's my favorite's of Albert Elbaz's line for Lanvin Fall 2009 RTW. You'll notice that a lot of the silhouettes are really similar, but that's another throwback: it's better to go for great, flattering designs that look good wherever you wear them, rather than design a lot of fussier pieces that need to be "fashiony" and require buying and wearing five pieces. Jacket! Skirt! Done! Dress! Gloves! Done!
Also, if you're wondering why designers roll out their fall designs right before spring starts, fashion runs on a delay so magazines have time to shoot all the clothes, stores have time to decide how much of the collections they'll carry, etc.
You'll be seeing Natalie Portman in that, I'm pretty sure.
Paging Tracy Lord!