Fashion Week SS09: Charlotte Ronson

The crowd at the show always says something about the designer. At Charlotte Ronson's show on Saturday, industry heavy-hitters mixed with stylish gamine types. And no wonder: Ronson, who currently has a great diffusion line at Urban Outfitters, is one designer who possesses both street cred and commercial success.

A fashion week power duo - her look is casual chic, mixing a classic white shirt with layered statement necklaces.

Love the Chanel bag with the long strap worn cross-chest mixed with a plaid shirt, shorts and gladiator heels. This outfit strikes just the right balance between dressed down and dressed up for a Saturday morning fashion show.

Black Ray Ban Wayfarers look just right again for this fall--especially paired with a LBD.

Another short, poufy bubble skirt. The shiny silk in a black floral print is spot-on.

Head-to-toe Charlotte Ronson. The jacket--a gray denim take on a motorcycle cut--is particularly covetable.

More schoolboy charm. Note how he balances it out with hair and sunglasses that clearly say "city" not "country" to give the outfit some edge.


There are two schools of thought about how to design during tough financial times. One is to play it safe, going for a "classic" look to create something the consumer could potentially wear for several seasons. The second is to exaggerate trends to make last season's clothes look outdated--a defining strategy during the last few years in fashion--so that people will keep spending. How many eras have we visited in the last two years? Victorian, '50s, '70s, '60s boho, futuristic styles, Art Nouveau? It's enough to make your head spin--or give up buying handbags, which is exactly what the industry doesn't want.

Charlotte Ronson started off this season's show by playing it safe with lots of gray and dusty pink--a logical transition from this fall's all black looks. The music rocked, naturally (thanks to Sam?), and Lindsay Lohan was seated front and center.

Ronson's gray denim clothes were nicely tailored and more than presentable, but they wouldn't pop--on film or in real life. It would be a shame if we all reverted to true recession wear (think early-mid nineties) and dressed in a uniformly gray way.

Not so the later looks in the show--a blue and white striped cotton cardigan was dip-dyed in blue. Now this is a recession-proof look we can live with: fashion that improves on the current season's trends (cardigans, nautical, dip-dye) and takes them to a new level of creativity.

You can see more Getty images from the Charlotte Ronson SS09 show here.