The Current State Of Fashion

I went to the mall in San Francisco this afternoon to help my girlfriend pick out some outfits for work and was surprised at what Nordstroms is putting on mannequins these days.  What is going through retailer’s minds when they dress these mannequins?  Do retailers think this is what people want to buy and wear, or is their strategy simply a marketing gimmick?  The outfit on the right is half decent, but what is going on with the one on the left?

Even though outfits put on display can be outrageous, what people are actually buying these days tends to be pretty tame.  This topic led to an entire discussion on what the current state of fashion really is.  I think we are living in a time where people really do have a good sense of fashion, and I’d actually say people are dressing more “normal” than any point in the last 30 years.  I know we really can’t define normal but in 20 years if we look back at fashion’s current state will we be able to define it?  How would you describe our current state of fashion?