Running to keep in step is what fashion's usually all about. But this word just in: There seems to be a negotiated peace in the style wars. Blame it on the sluggish economy, or on fin de sie`cle overload, but design leaders have paused to catch their breath, giving more gently priced manufacturers -- and those of us who don't chase after every new hemline -- a chance to catch up. Result? A lovely unity of vision by which the inside of almost any closet can resemble Ivana's.
There are, for instance, those cutting-edge cat suits, costing anywhere from $165 to a breathtaking $1,260. Parkas soar to $2,825 (for Chanel's sophisticated confection in quilted silk) but land gently at $178 (for Liz Claiborne's young and sporty brushed-cotton number). And then there are the tartans and the stirrup pants and, yes, all those sexy boots.
Men, who sometimes seem immune to style shifts, also have a few things to pay attention to this season. Such as? Such as spirited new versions of the classics they love so much -- new flower-power ties, suspenders and sweaters emboldened by black and white, traditional vests in very untraditional colors.
In all, it's a season of the greatest possible choice, in what to buy and how much to spend. Best of all, it's not just the season of the rich.
Fashion Associate: Jayne Mountford
Hair and Makeup: Dawn Jacobson
Models: Elena Vannucci, Jeff Hulbert, Konrad Perlman