Marion Cotillard at the Premiere of Inception
After what seems to be an interminable obsession with miniskirts, the fashion pendulum has swung again to embrace the longer hemline of 1950s aesthetics. Fashion editorials recreating the idyllic tongue-in-cheek idealism of Leave It To Beaver abound, announcing yet another reason for women to shop. But while this new conservatism is a refreshing directional change (I am the first to admit that I was tiring of the hard-edged rocker chick look), I am reminded of something that George Taylor, a Wharton School of Business economist, noticed in the 1920s: when hemlines rise, so does the economy.
The converse, according to Taylor, also applies, which, if we were to follow his "Hemline Theory," indicates that the fashion gods have predicted an upcoming economic slump. While fall collections tend to be darker, more subdued than spring collections on average, it's hard to deny the newfound classic quietness that dominated the shows. Whether this change is a result of sobering fiscal harbingers or fickle fashion fatigue, it's unclear how many women will embrace this slightly awkward hem length and how and when fears about the economy will fall away.