Here in the dawning of the new age of America, we the people, have ample opportunities to wear nationalism close to our hearts, as red, white and blue stenciled garments glitter their way onto our racks and into our closets at Hong Kong speed. The American flag has been woven into the fabric of our new lives everywhere from Donna Karan RTW to our neighborhood mall - from Stephen Sprouse at Target to Victoria's Secret catalog for the past year. Eerily, designer Claude Sabbah has been combining camouflage with stars and stripes for several seasons, dressing "The New York Warrior" for the battleground, and then some.

Before "the incident", confusion moved at its usual rate through the fashion world, and escalated the seasons following. Not knowing which way to turn, many die-hard fashionistas sat at least one season out. Like modern drum signals from village to village, fashion rag editors circulated a unanimous tone via email and cell phone of "what are we doing in this vapid industry - when the state of the world is in such peril?" Editorial takes on the "new appropo" flooded the trades and papers. Too sexy was gauche. Black was macabre. Looking like you're having fun was disrespectful. And so on. How on earth would we ever get dressed again?

Now's the time, not only to come out from under the covers and face fashion again, but to dress by your own inner style chakra, regardless of media input. What if it all ends tomorrow? Could you really face the world's end without test driving your vintage colt skin belt with your new Moroccan hoodie? With no barometers but your own, take whatever bits and pieces of media propelled style make sense to you and never deny yourself the urge to sport a super sexy black number if that's what you need. To thine own style be true.

Making way for a new grunge that this way cometh, the most au courant of style mavens are increasingly less concerned with outfitted appearance. The MO this time around is less about rebelling against The Man - and more about following one's own set of rules. The tone du jour is a cross between comfortable self-expression and not giving a rat's butt about what you have on, if the body underneath is in thoroughbred shape. Survival of the fittest rings loud and true. To address modern times, the heroin laced facade of earlier grunge days has been replaced by a calm botox-induced countenance and a body full of yoga. The beauty of it all is that now more than ever - it really doesn't matter what you wear if you've gotta good package.