04/24/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Fashion's Wake-Up Call: Goodbye Illusion, Hello Real World

One more fashion week and we are all that much fashion wiser. Missing: the A-list celebs that designers usually dump thousands on to window-dress their runway shows. Throttled down: the glitz. And, thank god those eighties shoulder pads have been deflated. Love the boyfriend. Dianne Von Furstenberg is extracting "the man inside of every woman," Again. We can be saving by dressing out of our guy's closet. Turn out the lights on most color except for accents. In fact, for fall 2010 Donna Karans' closet is ALL black.

And, Michael Kors advises: "Get out your knitting needles." Knit one, pearl two and you have got the look. When accessories for fall are not looking nubby -- they are furry. We are not "dancing with wolves" or talking sable here. It's economically conscious fur, under played -- steered -- used as trim. Faux fur. Goat skin. Sheered rabbit.

Store buyers are calling their fall budgets flat. My read on that is we are going to see again less merch in the stores. And when buyers risk trendy looks, we are going to see transparency and architectural cutouts. Let's hope all that openness is in the right places! Like how bad can anyone's bare back look?

For retailers who want the safe "commercial" look and those trendies who want to look like they are not trying so hard, go wild with what Tory Burch is calling the "tomboy effect." Tory does it with tights under wool shorts and lots of vests. Ralph Lauren's tomboy tops skinny jeans with the polo coat . And who doesn't love our DVF calling her collection Metamorphosis for "women as bankers, bikers or ballerinas." She is just further immortalizing that oversized boyfriend white shirt ... The same white shirt I think I have reported on every season in every fashion capital for the past two decades. Can't go wrong with that chemise blanche.

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