Archive for August, 2008

Fall styles all over the map

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Is it true what they say about hemlines rising and falling with the stock market?  If it is true, at this point we should all be wearing floor length skirts.  It’s been a widely held belief in the fashion industry that hemlines drop as the market drops and this fall, they’re dropping and rising all at the same time!  What’s a fashionista to do?

Let’s start with the hot colors of the season.  Pantone, the authority on color, names blue iris as their color of the year for 2008.  In addition, berry colors are very popular this fall season.  Already the stores are brimming with raspberry colored clothing, handbags and shoes.  Cooler shades of blue, green and purple are also showing up as well as subtler variations of red, orange and yellow.  Warmer autumn hues like chocolate, brown and steel grays are also big.

Leather jackets are a “must have” item this fall.  Styles are very tailored with minimal detailing.  Think of this as a substitute for a blazer.  Leather jackets can be dressed up or down and are perfect for our bay area microclimates.  Try a leather jacket in brown instead of black for a sophisticated change.

Another HUGE trend is lace.  Every variation of lace is used in this falls styles.  Lace dresses and tops, even handbags and shoes are lace covered.  It seems that every designer is doing this treatment.  You’ve heard the term “leather and lace”?  This is the season to pair the two and make it work.

Working off the lace trend, romantic tops are making waves for fall.  You’ll see them in lace, of course, as well as ruffled pleated, pin tucked and flounced versions.  They are sleeveless, long sleeved and everything in between.  You can wear these with a suit or a pair of jeans, whatever your mood.  You can find them in cotton, organza, silk or satin.

Pants are one category where anything goes this season.  Pants are full cut, high waisted, wide legged, skinny, cropped and even HAREM pants are showing up.  The beauty of this is that no matter what your figure type, there is a pant style to suit you.  Skirts are also having an identity crisis.  Skirts are longer, to be sure, and they are fuller as well.  Tailored pencil skirts are in, as are the dirndl and A line.  So many choices, oh my!

Layering is one way you can make your clothing dollar go further.  Take that cute summer dress, and layer a long, thin knit cardigan, top with a thin belt, and Viola!  You’ll look like you stepped off the pages of Vogue magazine.  Chunkier sweaters are also important this season.  Like leather jackets, sweaters can be a great substitute for a jacket.  There are great versions of both thin and chunky sweaters everywhere from H & M to Barney’s.

Shoes and accessories are not to be forgotten this season.  Heels are high, and so is the vamp.  It’s almost like the cold weather version of the gladiator sandal.  The foot is very covered up in this type of shoe, which might help counter balance the height!  Boots are continuing to be a great fall investment, and I’m happy to report that there are lots of flat to moderate heeled boots.  I think that Aerosoles does a great job with their boots, they are comfortable and affordable, a winning combination.

Some handbags are staying neutral this season, while others are going the “berry” opposite.  It’s nice to see some color, so I am supporting a little boost of color via your handbag.  Keep in mind that I am carrying a bright yellow bag right now.  Speaking of bright colors, hosiery is positively popping with color.  Bright colored tights are seen in all of the fashion magazines, but it’s too soon to tell whether anyone will wear electric blue tights with a gray or black skirt, stay tuned.  Even Chanel is showing a two- toned tight, with the front half black and the back half tan.  I think it’s for those of us who just can’t make up our minds…

Lastly, statement jewelry is really a hot commodity this season.  Just because you can’t afford the real thing, doesn’t mean you can’t wear some bling.  Jewelry is big and overstated, even on some of these waif-like models.  My only warning is to keep the jewelry in scale with your body size and shape.

New York state of mind…I will be heading off to New York Fashion Week starting on Sept. 5th, for a fun filled week of spring 2008 fashions. Confirmed tickets so far are Piedmont’s own Erin Fetherston, The Academy of Art University (the ONLY student show in the tents), Tibi, Catherine Malandrino, Luca Luca, Betsey Johnson, Reem Acra and more as the shows approach.  Stay tuned as I may be invited to see the Finale show of Project Runway’s three finalists!  I will be blogging every night (or morning) during fashion week with show reviews, impressions, celebrity sightings and much more, so check my website frequently at www.maureenfrench.com, and don’t forget to ask questions and make comments.  I’d love to hear from you… Auf Wiedersehen.