Everyone knows that the atmosphere of a show--its music, lighting, seating arrangements--can greatly influence the impression one has of a collection. This season, perhaps to communicate a recession-defensive, no one-can-mess-with-us message, runways were transformed into streets. At Nina Ricci, a show that was fueled with energy thanks to a soon departing Oliver Theyskens, the catwalk appeared cold, hard, slick--let's just say it was not a warm, fuzzy statement on the part of Theyskens. At Lanvin--the show that made for the best photographs if nothing else--the catwalk was doused in water so that it appeared as though models were freed from protective awnings and were finally able to make their way home. Although the clothing is still astronomically priced in both cases, the catwalk-turned-street sent a message of DIY independence.
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