Designer Betsey Johnson, the wacky, fun-loving girlie-girl of the fashion world, announced last week that she will not be staging a runway show in the main Bryant Park tents for Fashion Week in New York this February. Although the reason was not given, it’s probably a money issue: putting up a Fashion Week show in Bryant Park, the main site for the big-name shows, costs a designer at least $100,000.
Designer Carmen Marc Valvo also announced that cost would prevent him from presenting at Bryant Park for Fashion Week, as explained by his company’s VP of communications: “We didn’t know if we would have the audience we felt we needed to justify the cost of putting on that show — stores are cutting back on sending buyers to the shows, there’s less and less press coming… we didn’t feel it was worth the effort going to go into it.”
While maybe couture designers aren’t the most destitute victims of the latest economic slide, there is something sad about seeing the world of high-end fashion affected by the economy. Couture and runway shows and Fashion Week… it’s pure escapism, baby, where the glamorous never look ugly, mismatch their clothes or have haul out of bed in the morning for work. Fashion Week is about glitz and glamour, about clothing turned to art by limitless designers and the assumption that this will always exist. It’s disheartening to hear that even the high-end fashion world gets hit by economic recessions. Right now is when we could use escapism the most. Or even just the pleasure of a Betsey Johnson cartwheel down the runway.