Fashion Week's Runway Recession

The fall 2008 collection of Isaac Mizrahi is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008.

Fashion Week in New York - it's seven days of the hottest trends, and a frenzy of fabulousness.

But this week the couture crowd debuted their sweet looks for spring in a sour economy. Shoppers just aren't buying like they used to, CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports.

One Fashion Week attendee said: "Normally, it's like, I want the funky shoes and the funky bag and it's not like that anymore."

Designers have been creating their collections against a backdrop of a stagnant retail market, soaring fuel prices and a battered stock market. They've had to ask themselves, in a down economy, "How do you grin and wear it?"

It forced big name designer Isaac Mizrahi to take a reality check.

"Before you start working on a collection you think, 'Oh right, people have no money to buy things, so how am I going to make them interested,'" said designer Isaac Mizrahi.

New collections are emphasizing timelessness and versatility, eye-popping color, pretty prints and accessories like bags and chunky jewelry - pieces that can spice up existing wardrobes.

Glamour Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive says: "That old idea that used to exist in fashion that collections are out, now I've got to get something new doesn't really exist right now."

Last month, with the exception of WalMart, retailers saw declines in sales as high as nearly 8 percent.

So some high-end designers are jumping on the bandwagon, targeting budget consumers in lower-priced venues.

Dean Harris makes jewelry that normally sells in the low thousands. Most pieces in his new Target line are less than $40.

"It gave me great opportunity to design things for the larger market," Harris said.

Fashion's all about new trends - the industry is hoping the recession is one trend that quickly goes out of style.

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    Michelle Miller is the co-host of "CBS This Morning: Saturday." As an award-winning correspondent based in New York City, she has reported for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. She joined CBS News in 2004.