Standard of dress drops in Australia

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Perhaps it has something to do with the army of independent publications that rose to prominence in the late Nineties and early Noughties which influenced the dwindling of traditionally haute fashion in Australia. ‘Oyster’ and its rustic redheads into their distressed denim. ‘Cream’ and its kooky muses wearing skirts as headpieces. ‘Frankie’ and its lovers of everything vintage. Whatever the influences, the standard of dress has reportedly dropped dramatically in the past three years, and we can’t argue that the GFC hasn’t been a major cause for the slump.

In 2007, consumer research firm Directional Insights conducted a survey that asked 1,052 shoppers to nominate which fashion category they mainly purchase from. Mid Range Fashion led the industry with 44% of interviewees saying they mainly purchased clothing from retailers such as Sussan or Portmans.

17% purchased Better End Fashion (Nine West, Country Road); just over a third opted for ‘Inexpensive Everyday Fashion (Lowes, Supre); while a meagre 4% splashed out on High End Fashion (Gucci, Versace, et al).

Fast forward to 2010 and things are looking even grimmer for the designer labels. Now, 44% of shoppers surveyed say they opt for Inexpensive Everyday Fashion; 43% go for Mid Range; 10% purchase Better End; and a paltry 2% purchase High End.

It makes you wonder who on earth is buying all the stuff that fills double-page spread after double-page spread of ‘Harper’s Bizarre’, ‘Marie Claire’ and ‘Vogue’. Oh that’s right… the tourists.