What to make of the Americana trend present in the spring 2008 collections?
When circle skirts and leather jackets returned in force in the 2008 resort collections (see Gucci for a prime example), it seemed merely a pendulum swing back to American sportswear and classic fifties fashion after years of ethnic, bohemian, and new minimalist styles.
The use of Fourth of July symbolism by houses like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent for spring 2008, however, suggests that this trend goes a little deeper.
Does it reflect nostalgia for the days when the United States' status as the world's lone superpower remained unchallenged? Is it simply a cheeky response to the waning of American preeminence by Parisian brands? Is the product meant to appeal to the growing numbers of customers in emerging economies, for whom the stars and stripes may feel exotic?
In any case, there are major shifts happening in the global distribution of wealth and influence (both cultural and geopolitical). The Youtube video Did You Know 2.0 provides a succinct and compelling overview of these changes.
Photos: Details of the Chanel (left) and YSL (right) Spring 2008 collections from Style.com.