Betty Takes You to Fashion Week

First Fall 2009 New York Fashion Week report

Front-row Seat

Betty Takes You to Fashion Week

Given all the bad economic news, what can we expect from Fashion Week?

-Jennifer Goodkind

Bryant ParkMercedes-Benz Fall Fashion Week 2009 kicks off tomorrow under the tents in New York’s Bryant Park. In all the years I have covered the shows, this season holds the most intrigue, for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the economy stinks. The Fashion industry is experiencing layoffs, cutbacks, store closings, and Chapter 11 filings have reached an all-time high.

Fashion has of course, always been a barometer of the times. But in these times, we are way past using the skirt length shown on all the runways as a measure of the pulse of our country. So, what can we expect to see from fashion designers in the New York shows?

Inaugural gownMy co-host Jayne and I had Ashley Pruitt as our guest on our radio show, “A Fashionable Life,” this week. Ashley is an analyst for her family-owned business, Blacks, a retail-consulting, trend-forecasting company.

Ashley suggested that retailers will have to provide constant “newness” in the form of new designers, capsule collections and reinvention to stimulate the cautious consumer’s palette.

There will be plenty of new talent showing during Fashion Week. Never has “new designer” held as much promise. Michelle Obama’s choice to wear Jason Wu sent a message: Risky times call for a fresh perspective. Let’s see what design royalty like Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors have in store for Fall ’09. My guess is a return to what they do best: inspire and tempt with classic and feminine glamour that whispers elegance and confidence in an understated way.

Milly Spring 2009The contemporary designers like Michelle Smith’s Milly line and Amy Smilovic’s Tibi line will have an important role to play because with less spending on luxury, the contemporary price point becomes much more appealing.








Stay tuned as Fashion Week commences tomorrow and I’m ready to take you to the tents with me as I go front row and backstage to capture the spirit of design for Fall 2009.

Jennifer Goodkind is the co-host, with Jayne Chase, of A Fashionable Life ( They are fashion reporters for ABC News NOW, where they cover the red carpet, Fashion Week and the business of fashion.

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