Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Footpath Cracks - Bettina gets 'em young

Welcome to the first of an occasional series. Footpath Cracks are my bitchy fashion news briefs, and they'll come up when I feel some style-related issue in the press deserves a good snort of derision.

In today's inaugural crack, Bettina Liano has announced she's designing a range of children's wear. I am a little alarmed. I suppose the "ruffled tops, tulle skirts and jersey pieces with mini versions of Bettina's celebrated denim garments" won't be too much of a stretch. But isn't there something a little wrong about producing this clothing for kids? After all, this is the same designer who said in 2003,
"It is important for women to feel amazing in my clothes and feel sexy but comfortable in my jeans."
And as The Age noted last year,
"Her designer jeans (generally falling into the "spray-on" category of fit) are incredibly saucy."
I also wonder if this is her attempt at buttressing brand loyalty among mums who may have "sagged out" of her target market, so to speak. If so, you have to applaud her for thinking laterally. But by far my favourite thing about this article was that:
"The clothing will come in size 3 to 10 ..."
Just like her adult designs, then!

5 comments:

Lucy Tartan said...

mel, i agree, it is wrong on so many levels. But from a business point of view it's probably something she should have done years ago. The kid fashion market is absolutely mental - check out Fred Bare's online catalogue if you want to see three-year-olds in makeup and knee boots. Mothers fight over limited edition pieces. The clothes cost more than a lot of adult stuff.
Besides, there's that whole attractive "mother and daughter" opportunity. Yech.

Mel said...

You're totally right, Laura. Indeed, it's a very reactionary, Sunday Life kind of outrage that I was espousing - I think they even had an article about the outrageous prices and bourgeois clientele of high-end kidswear labels a while back!

I should also have added that there seems to be a phenomenon of womenswear designers having kids or getting clucky and starting ranges for children. Zimmermann did it.

And there's that phenomenon of hipster parents who want their kids to look as hip as them. Check out this article. "Gerlinki Junior" on Brunswick St comes to mind, as does the "Buddy Love" t-shirt emporium on Smith St.

Jellyfish said...

I'm having to hold myself back from unrestrained ranting, because designerwear for children is one of my pet loathes. The thing that really bugs me about it how designers fall over themselves to justify it on the grounds that kids love to look 'pretty and stylish these days' (or some such mush) when kids actually can't tell the fucking difference between their Gerlinki Junior gear and the bright green tutu their mum found for $2 at Savers.

Designer kids clothing is only significant to parents who are desperate to have their children look as much like a fashion accessory as possible. It is the most phemonenal waste of money and while one or two items are probably quite fun, an entire wardrobe of it is - well, why not just use $50 notes to light your oven, it would cost less and have more potential for amusing hijinks.

Of course, I say this as a snooty childless person. Probably when I have kids I'll be madly ordering things from Baby Gap and you can print out this comment and staple it to my forehead.

So much for holding back. Bah.

flashman said...

On my last voyage through Target, searching unsuccessfully for something to buy with a gift voucher, I saw racks and racks of kiddie G-strings.

It's Just. Not. Right.

Mel said...

My workmate Sophie just said, "We'll be seeing toddlers walking around with their nappies hanging out the tops of their pants." Wonderful.