Archive for August, 2007

Fall fashions sizzle with color & shine

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over and kids are heading (or are already) back to school.  The Fashion magazines are brimming with the new trends, and declaring the season a success already.  Retailers are keeping it closer to the cuff as they await what will be best sellers and what will not.  I will try to boil down what will be the more wearable trends that we all can have a piece of.

Starting with colors this season… it will have lots of interest.  Pantone, the color authority, lists Spicy Chili Pepper, Lemon Curry and Purple Wine as dominant colors, along with Espresso Brown, Cashmere Rose, Green Moss and Burnt Ochre (translation: a shade of orange).  Gray seems to be making the biggest impact this season, as the “it” color.  For those who do not favor gray, try pairing it with a fun, bright color.  Red is everywhere and looks great with gray or black.  Having just returned from Barcelona,

Spain, every store was showing some form of red in their fall collections.  Remember to choose the shade of red that goes best with your complexion, all reds are NOT created equal!

Silhouettes will be slimming down this season and billowing out.  Skirts will be more tailored and more like the pencil style.  You will also see more full and flared styles also.  Pleats will prevail as long as you wear a more fitted top with them.  Pants will be either the continuation of the “skinny” jean look along with the wider legged trouser, with a higher waist.  You can actually use your pockets in these pants.  This style is flattering, and balances out a larger top or midsection.

Tweeds are making an appearance this season in very easy- to- wear variations.  They are sophisticated, but not stuffy this time around. Pair them with a nicely tailored leather jacket and you have a winning combination. You could also experiment with a more edgy motocross styled leather jacket. Man tailored clothing is also returning, so the tweed trend goes well with it.

Chunky sweaters and knits seem to be the way to keep warm this fall and winter.  The gauges seem to be exaggerated and bold.  For those of you who knit, take note: pull out your largest needles and start knitting!  Neutral colors will be your best bet for these pieces whether you choose a sweater coat, cardigan, tunic or oversize turtleneck.  Keep your bottom half tailored and not too baggy to balance the volume of this sweater.

Patent leather is BIG, BIG, BIG!  This trend is exploding.  We saw shoes and bags last season, and this season it’s taken one step further.  Patent leather trenches are showing up all over.  I love patent as much as the next person, but a patent trench?  Pass on that and grab yourself patent shoes and a bag.  Dresses are showing up with patent details and works nicely.  It will remind you of the days of Mary Janes and plaid skirts.

Capes are the new look in outerwear.   I think this is the next progression after ponchos.  Capes are more stylish and sophisticated, although not that easy to maneuver around in.  If you choose this look, stay with a style that can be belted in the front and worn looser in the back.  If your arms are too restrained, move on and choose another.  Bowed blouses look great with capes, and there are plenty to choose from.  The bow can be right at the neck, to the side or at the bottom of a V-neck.  Fabrics should be silky and easy to move in.  Cotton tends to be a bit stiff for this style to work.

Shine is the big buzz word this season, whether it is the shine of patent leather or the reflection of sequins and pailettes.  Eveningwear is shiny, silvery and sparkling.  You can choose from bronze, silver or gold.  No shortage of shimmering styles in dresses, shoes, bags and outerwear.

Feathers and faux fur are also showing up in trims and detailing.  Personally, I would skip the feathers in favor of the faux fur.  These treatments look great on evening wear or on the sleeve of a serious suit.  Choose what you like, and what looks good and remember to have some fun along the way.

Passport prevails …for 25 years.  One of my favorite shows is scheduled for the 19th and 20th of September.  Passport is coming, and it never disappoints.  This is the 25th anniversary of the show which has raised 25 million dollars benefiting the HIV/ AIDS community, both locally and nationally.  Passport is one of the Bay areas’ premiere fashion events and you don’t want to miss it!  For more information log on to www.macy’ and for tickets go to

A parting note…I will be heading to New York Fashion Week September 5th – 12th.  Check out my experiences and impressions of the shows in the week or so after,  in this column.  Our very own Academy of Art University students will be showing their collections in the tents of Bryant Park on Saturday, September 8th at 7 p.m.  They will also be showing at the Passport events.  It’s a big month for the AAU fashion department and we’re so proud to have our local talent showcased so spectacularly!