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Couture flourishes despite a worldwide economic downturn. At a couture price point, inaccessible to all but a few hundred clients worldwide, a recession will have virtually zero impact. This, admittedly, is not news but we think tightened purse strings for the rest of the fashion world should make our heads turn to couture this Spring 09. If only to marvel in something so unwavering. Today Bill Cunningham rigged up his usual piece of street style mastery, this time with a feature on designer handbags. If you're curious who's toting the Richard Prince for Louis Vuitton bags, or Balenciaga, Prada, and Yohj Yamamoto's incarnations, take a look. He even snaps a few knock offs, proving that no one is fooled when you opt for the fake stuff. Chloe had its resort showing and there's a lace number that dares to be right on trend for its delivery date. The collection, said to include seventies and eighties-inspired pieces, also plays with colors other than the uniform red, white, blue, and washed out pastel. From Chloe we saw navy and olive, leopard prints, nautical stripes, and an eggplant chiffon blouse. Quite daring in light of the steadfast color traditions we typically see during mid-season. Suzy Menkes for the International Herald Tribune writes a nice piece on the castings of this year's menswear shows in relation to the spirit of the clothing. She's disappointed with Galliano, that much can be said.