Reading fashion's tea stupefied

As NYC's Fall Fashion Week draws to a close, what did I learn? Not much. I'd compare it to speed shopping for snowmobiles to take back home to the family's date plantation in Dubai. Obviously, there's an unbridged gap between the description of what's being shown on the runways and what can be learned by the uninitiated. Maybe I should have spent more time watching "Project Runway". Or any time, really. Maybe I should have learned to sew so I could dissect just how much artistry goes into the construction of clothes. Sadly, the solitary, mandatory "home ec" class I endured in 8th Grade slipped away like an unsecured knot of invisible thread. Still, I looked for themes - things that might seem to carry through from designer to designer. One thing I thought I was seeing was a strong Chinese theme - Jason Wu's buzz thanks to his Michelle Obama connection at least echoed a bit in what I perused early on. But then I realized I was probably only channeling the single actual live fashion show I saw when I'd traveled to Beijing last September. No, I'm not able to take that leap of pretension into "trend forecasting". Although that term - "trend forecasting" and the concept that some people make their bones doing so - did get me thinking. In that pursuit, looking at fashion is no different than obsessing over any public art form. Yes - I said it. Fashion is, quite surely, art. From that admission, however, the concept crosses over for me into a vast, shared space with all the other forms of discourse and commerce. If you'll indulge me - in this way of is literature is the Westminster Dog Show is political horse-race handicapping. Because for every person who is deep in the process of doing the job, there are countless minions of others dissecting and trying to "trend forecast" what is being created or shown or discussed. And like that vast majority of other forecasters, I can no more say what trend will move from the runway to the Street than why a flouncy little Pekingese could ever beat a Dalmatian or an Irish Setter. Or why Rick Santorum in a sweater vest makes any more sense than Mitt Romney in a tattersall shirt. In other words, I'm done reading fashion's tea leaves. At least until I learn to securely anchor some of those buttons I'm currently missing.