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What Season Is it Again? The Pluses and Minuses of Transitional Fashion

There have been multiple moments during this spate of runway shows when I have legitimately thought to myself, "What season is this again? Spring 2013 or Fall 2013?"

Soon enough, I'm nudged in one way or another—with a crop top, or a flat sandal—to remember that we're looking at spring clothes. But are they really spring clothes?

This past month, I've seen layers-upon-layers of leather, proper wool sweaters and skirts, sweatshirts, long coats, suiting...pretty much everything BUT a tank top and a pair of shorts. Of course, there are exceptions: Isabel Marant's collection was as beachy as an umbrella cocktail, Narciso Rodriguez revived the slip dress and Rachel Comey did do a (very nice) short suit.

One could argue that, as the fashion calendar becomes increasingly crowded, the seasons become more and more blurred.

But since it's getting warmer year-round, not colder, you'd expect there to be fewer cold-weather clothes. Last winter, I spent more than my entire clothing budget on a fur-lined army jacket that's gorgeous, but proved totally unnecessary for the unseasonably warm New York weather. And my sweater collection keeps shrinking. Heck, I haven't even had to break out the tights, and it's already October.

Yet the opposite is happening on the runway. Designers just don't seem to care what global warming means for our wardrobes. And to an extent, they don't have to. What goes down the catwalk doesn't necessarily represent what's in the showroom: a more "commercial" collection, filled with lightweight fabrics and flattering silhouettes, is often prepared for buyers.

Indeed, it's hard to believe all these cold weather-ish clothes will make it into the stores in spring. But if they do, will we succumb to their prettiness? At that point, it might be hard to remember which season we're actually living in.

Photo: Balenciaga Spring 2013. Fairchild Archive.

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