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Following Ford

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Tom Ford's tiny, closely-guarded runway show last season might have been the beginning of the end for big Fashion Week blowouts. What's hot now isn't spectacle but exclusion—as the Times puts it, "recreating the plummy atmosphere of an old world défilé, with its velvet-voiced narrator and little gilt chairs." But if this sounds like classic fashion industry elitism, it's also deeply practical. Runway shows are expensive, and designers worry that they can't justify all the time and money required when half the audience will be Blackberrying anyway. [NYT]