Our earlier post featuring Lela Rose Christian Siriano and Patricia Field marked the beginning of our coverage of Fashion Week, that biannual romp in which impossibly thin women strap on impossibly tall heels and model impossibly expensive clothing. New York bursts into frenzied activity; the rest of the country barely notices. It doesn't have anything to do with most of us.

At least, it didn't used to. But fashion -- from bargain retail to sky-high couture -- has been hit hard by the events of the last year. As designers and editors and retailers regroup, their message is clear: it's time to rethink everything.

And they're starting at the beginning. This evening, on the first night of Fashion Week, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour will be not at Bergdorf or Barney's but at Macy's -- make that Macy's in Queens. The reason is a retail-rally event called Fashion Night Out, and the takeaway is unmistakable: fashion wants to meet everybody else halfway.

So maybe we should rethink our stance on fashion, too. As the models stomp the runways over the next week, we at WalletPop will be thinking out loud -- and offering you tips on how to make fasion's new attitudes work for you. Stay tuned.

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