Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some things are just a little far fetched to ignore. Not that I'm not dying to write about news that H&M will next be teaming up with Matthew Williamson for their next designer collaboration (which makes perfect sense since Williamson will no longer be making extra cash at the helm of Pucci since he's decided to focus on his own label...though I was disappointed it wasn't Westwood).

But at yesterday's Luxury Briefing Conference in London, a former Morgan Stanley analyst predicts that we'll be seeing a big shift towards African influenced fashion. Why, do you ask? Well, as if it weren't obvious, because of our new US president-elect Barack Obama, of course!

There's a highly technical journalistic expression called silly season. It usually occurs in a lull of news, and is marked by an upsurge of, well, silly stories. And it's not that there isn't a wealth of stories to read now in fashion, but because of the economy, most of them tend to be quite awful and depressing.

Does that explain the seeming craziness of Claire Kent's remark? No. I mean, generally analysts tend to well-informed gatherers of information. And it's not that Obama hasn't already influenced the likes of Franca Sozzani in her pivotal all-black Italian Vogue. But to take it all the way to Africa, well, just because the man happens to born to an African national (forget that his mother was white or that he was born and bred on American territory and has hardly even traveled to Africa)...now that is just absolute silliness.

Which is not to say that we might just see some African influences in fashion cropping up here and there. Look at how beautifully YSL was influenced by it. And as we all know, fashion, like the economy is cyclical. It's been a while since we've seen many tribal prints, which are great for summer. And if my fashion calendar is on target, we're due to see some summer collections in January. But believe you me, I won't be straining to look for any African influences, or wondering whether I should match my blue to the color of Obama's inaugural suit.

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