Lynn Yaeger: When Facing Uncertain Times, One Can Either Go Sporty or Get Fabulous

From left: Spring looks from Altuzarra, Thakoon, and Duro Olowu.

“We want fabulosity! We like it!” Simon Doonan exclaims from the podium at FIT’s Couture Council luncheon honoring Valentino, a plush affair dominated by the kind of Birkin-toting women Tom Wolfe once described as social X-rays, many of whom are clad today in tiny tomato-red sheaths in honor of the designer.

But there is little fabulosity in evidence when I next spot Mr. Valentino, in the otherwise celebrity-impoverished audience at DVF on Sunday afternoon. Still, what it lacks in grandeur, it makes up for with a wide range of perfectly serviceable, sometimes even faintly charming department-store clothes. At the end of the show, Von Furstenberg appears, fistfuls of little American flags in her hand, and walks the length of the runway, handing out the stars-and-stripes to various front-row luminaries, including Signor V. (This is either sweet and touching, or it is in the worst possible taste, and as of this writing, with the September 11 anniversary commemorations just behind us, I myself am not sure.)

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