Sketch of cape for Chanel F/W 2009.
We might have expected a return to minimalism. Simple lines, earth tones, basics. After all, simplicity is often associated with lean economic times. It was no coincidence that during the 1990s, the height of fashion minimalism coincided with five major international financial crises. The domino collapse of asian currencies in the late 90s may have been the best thing that ever happened to Helmut Lang, and Cathy Horyn certainly had a point when she said that 'to some extent, we associate minimalism with failure'. When an economic crisis hits, minimalism makes sense: it's fairly obvious that when you're living from paycheck to paycheck, you're not going to blow your budget on crystal knuckledusters.