Countess Louise J. Esterhazy (the non de plume of John Fairchild) thinks that designers need to get over the idea of “trends” because she declares them as good as dead. The Countess’ latest column for Women’s Wear Daily argues that women, especially American women, no longer like to be told how to dress.
“Snobbishness in fashion has gone away,” she says.
Thanks to the Internet, our greatest wardrobe desires and whims are only a mouse click away. She thinks shoppers are now smarter than the designers, which means she sees our current “fashion engine” as something that needs to be rebuilt. If the resurgence of normcore and mom jeans have taught us anything, it is that today’s looks have more to do with the wearer than the designer.
“There are no trends,” the Countess writes. “After viewing all the collections (I am a very diligent reporter,) I have concluded that fashion today is a bouillabaisse of everything. It makes one understand that the word “elegant” is passé. So are all those other fashion words — chic, hot, smart, fashionable. Forget it. They are as passé as passé.”
Fashion icons have a history of creating looks that are entirely their own. The Countess is basically saying that when it comes to personal style, you do you.
“The really stylish — and I’m not talking about the costumed women today’s street photographers follow like sheep — aren’t really influenced by the fashion elite, and never have been. The ladies of the past — Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness, C.Z. Guest — were personalities in their day because they created their own style. And clothes were only part of it. “
“These women weren’t fashionistas — a word I hate. I prefer the word “passionista.” Freedom is the heart and soul of fashion and style. First, to dare and, second, because clothes are part of what makes us all feel better about ourselves.”