Beyonce was not the first superstar with processed hair (extensions). Reed Krakoff was not the first one note designer going for 3 notes. Anna Wintour was not the first visionary at Conde Nast, nor the first influence peddling adventuress. Oscar de la Renta was certainly not the first Latin lover to dress a society matron. Andre Leon Talley was not the first editor to become a caricature in search of a gig that would restore him to his glory days as a bonafide editor, once more. John Galliano is not the first genius to go down in flames at the height of his powers, though he may be the richest. Dior, (Y)SL, Balenciaga, Ungaro, Balmain, Blass, Rabanne, Anne Klein and Ferre were not the first powerhouse design establishments to suck wind. Anna dello Russo was not the first fashion victim who will live and die by the dress hanger. Some editors/fashion critics of the New York Times, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune are not the first oracles to be sniffing toxic fumes sending out mixed messages that mean nothing to even the most educated of ears. I can't tell you how many times I've spoken to people in the press (yes, I know some interesting people who write for real newspapers and magazines) who ask me if I get what's going on or if I'm as confused as they are. I've come to believe that confusion is merely a state of knowing but an unwillingness to believe. Sort of like realizing Santa is really your parents doing the best they can.
What once flew high is now skimming and skidding along the ground. Sitting in Gregory's on Seventh Ave. between 39th and 40th minding my own business, I watched the river that is New York's fashion industry meander by. It was busy and at the same time strangely empty. Tourists taking pictures of the tailor hard at work on his sewing machine were cheek to jowl with young fashion workers busily making a display of their presence and profession or just posing as fashionables like those who crowd the tents at collection time. This blond woman in a dress so short that she spent every second tugging at it to attempt to cover her almost completely exposed lower half. Her example was the perfect illustration of too little being way, way too much. The spectacle has replaced the spectacular. Chaos, the new order of the day. Still, I am fascinated by the ebb and flow of culture and the highs and lows of fashion. That said, I'm back in my seat way up near the roof and straining to see all that there is to see. Welcome back to my world.