>> Besides the obvious runway trends that have emerged — cut-outs, metallics, thigh-high boots, emphasized shoulders — we're seeing something else: designers are sending out a substantially less gowns down the runway. Now we're talking designers who dabble with gowns, not whose livelihoods depend on the red carpet — see Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka, and their ilk — but Rodarte, who usually end their collections with a trio of three gowns, chose to bypass that segment for Fall 2009, sticking to minidress silhouettes all the way through.
Max Azria, who usually does at least three full-length dresses for Herve Leger, didn't have one hem below knee-length for the Fall 2009 collection. Diane von Furstenberg, who showed four floor-sweeping frocks for Spring 2009 and five for Fall 2008, had one singular gown — the last look — for Fall 2009. Erin Fetherston, known for her proclivity for long, flowy dresses, had at least seven last season; for Fall 2009, there was one. Matthew Williamson produced seven gowns for Spring 2009 and four for Fall 2008; this season, he went down to three. Narciso Rodriguez didn't do any for Fall 2009; the list goes on.
So is it because we're maxed out on maxi dresses? Because a long dress takes more fabric and therefore is more expensive to produce? Because separates will likely sell better? Because gowns just look too extravagant in these pinching times? Whatever it is, we could be seeing a lot more cocktail-length dresses on the red carpet if this keeps up; that or, the gowns will all have to be custom.