"I’ve become impatient when people claim they don’t care about clothes. They still dress every morning, and if they are going to reject fashion, they still need clothes to show it. Style rebellion is still a form of self-expression."
It is but a small footnote to history that the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened on what was to have been the fourth day of New York Fashion Week for the spring 2002 season. Fifty-two collections had been shown since the preceding Saturday at events around the city, which was caught up, as usual, in an array of glamorous festivities.
The previous night, with the ground soaked after a daylong rainstorm, Marc Jacobs had held an extravagant runway show on a Hudson River pier near the West Village that culminated in an enormous outdoor party celebrating his latest fragrance. On Tuesday morning, Ms. Lange’s show was the 53rd, and last, to take place before Fashion Week was called off, the tents evacuated and the 73 remaining events canceled.
In the days that followed, many designers, as they struggled to make sense of their world and resume the daily business of fashion, arranged simple presentations in their showrooms. Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan were among them. Mr. Lauren, in one of his offices on Seventh Avenue, wore a sweater with the American flag in intarsia, and told his audience: “I have always been inspired by America. I have always been inspired by its heroes.”