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Women's Fashion: A Feast for the Eyes

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Actress Alexa Davalos in repose.  

I t’s not easy coming up with a way to connect all of fashion’s trends twice a year. You want to be original but not obscure, accessible but not banal, show the clothes without looking too much like a catalogue, and give your photographers lots of options for making beautiful photographs. So as this issue approached, we decided to make it easy on ourselves: We went with food. As a collective concept, it worked perfectly for spring. There was a bumper crop of short little dresses, bright as Starburst candies and meant for restaurant promenading, filmy gowns light as puff pastry, cheerful chunky costume jewelry that made us think of luxurious junk food, and a new narrower silhouette (so long, sack dress; hello, skinny jacket) in neutral colors meant to be spiced up with high heels and long, swinging necklaces. Food not only let us play with women’s fashion (let’s put the jewelry in Jell-O!), it was easy to connect with menswear, which we’re covering for the second time with this issue. (Let’s photograph some of New York’s good-looking waiters! To see that story and others, click here.) The topic of food, and eating, took on a strange dimension for fashion, though, as the industry went into a frenzy of self-examination about anorexia in the modeling world. We welcomed the journalistic opportunity to explore the subject, and sent Emily Nussbaum out to talk to the teenage models. And we tracked four fashion figures’ eating habits during Fashion Week this month (models eat; editors don’t). For us, though, food was only the issue’s conceit (and a light one, at best). The real story is the clothes, especially pretty this season, and promising, even in these gray days, that sunshine and soft breezes are on their way, as surely as dessert follows dinner.


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