But also Look 1, and 22, and 29, and 32, and 34 AND 35 AND 36!!!!!!
It starts off.
And you think you know what you’re in for, you think you know what’s happening, and the first several looks confirm this, there’s a clear vision, and you can see how the path is lain and how it winds, but you can’t. Oh no. You don’t.
Isabel Marant is one of my always favorites: ohh-la-la French incarnate, uber-wearable, ultra-chic.
Her Fall 2010 line-up is no exception and highlights to finely-tuned elegance and STYLE some of the best of this fall’s “trends.”1 So here, without further ado, five of the hottest (read: most prevalent) trends for Fall as interpreted by Mlle. Marant.
PETA must be so pleased that with all the furry on the catwalk, so much of it, though definitely not all of it,2 this time around is fake. The look though is extremely luxurious, sumptuous, and fantastic in the way of literal fantasy. You’ll find stripes not seen on beasts, colors only found in flora,3 and poufs of long-haired pretty.
Printed and/or Embellished Pants
Look, jeans and simple black slacks are never going to go out of fashion, but one of the coolest things going on right now on the runways is the reexamination of the pant. The whole harem thing might not appeal to most (as it’s essentially widening the thigh) but this one, I think, can be done to great aplomb.
It’s cool, it’s easy, it brings interest.
Another classic redone, leather was everywhere on the runway and if you’re going to get one new piece–or re-imagine any old favorite–this season, I’d suggest it be a bad-ass leather coat. Or splurge on those leather pants you’ve always not-so-secretly wanted.
Fall 2010 saw more than just a plethora of leather pants and coats (consistent favorite of rock stars and bikers and their wannabes), but Stella McCartney, Celine, Chloe, and Dior (to name a few) also sent down leather tops, dresses, and skirts.
This is another thrift-able trend. Truly though, I think these Marant pairs are the coolest ever. My birthday is in December, ahem.
I’ve spoken of it before, and I will again, but the mix-and-match movement in prints is one of the coolest things happening in fashion and it’s showing up everywhere. In a similar way, we can see how monochromatic makes good with a conscious effort toward mix-it-up materials. Wool, silk, leather, brocade, cotton, linen, knits, sequins, lame: You can keep it sleek and still hold interest by playing around with texture and tone. Mix mattes and shine, sleek and soft, harsh and sheer.
Shine On with Metallics and Sequins
Again, this is a trend we’re seeing everywhere right now. Again, this is something of which I have spoken highly in the past. Granted, like so many things in the Industry, metallics are come-again favorite. That doesn’t make the latest incarnations any less chic IMHO.
It’s important to KEEP IT SIMPLE, though. Unless you’re going ball gown, keep your gold or glitter down to one key piece, and mix up the rest.
1. I say “trends” with finger-quotes because, let’s face it, these are all modes that arise again and again and again and again. More than trends these are classics. As always, the trick is to play them in a new tune, with a new twist, to make them your own.
2. Seriously. Fur turned up but EVERYWHERE.
3. See Armani, Versace.
First off, let’s talk about the mood, because florals and brights are ubiquitous here, and that’s just not something you see in Fall very often. If ever. However, beyond the gorgeous open-toed heels, these clothes are strangely season-appropriate. That is, the fabrics are lush and thick and heavy.
But the colors! The bright blossoms! It’s cannily magical and movingly beautiful, like seeing flowers in the snow. Remember when I talked about wearing head to toe gray just to stand out against the crazy color wheel bloom that is Berkeley in spring? This is like that, in reverse, and a million times better.
The styling is incredible, as well, and works with the overall look and mood of the whole show. The make-up is dramatic feminine.
The easter basket cellophane veils are à propos odd but, again, totally work. Do I recommend a DIY? Well, no, I think wrapping one’s head in plastic is generally a bad idea. But styling in a runway show is maybe the only (on person) element where theatricality is allowed to trump wearability completely. According to me.
Everyone else? Kind of ehh, bleh, and really, this is couture? But Dior? Man, oh man. Dior did what couture is meant to do and you should look forward to a post extolling their awesomeness soon.
So yeah, all the other couture showings for fall were, to my mind, a bit of a let down. That is not to say that there were not beautiful, creative looks–because there were–but overall it all seemed rather ready-to-wear and not at all elevated enough for the distinction of haute couture.
These dresses are just run down in alphabetical order by designer. My absolute fave, I think, is Jarrar’s.
As you can see the silhouettes and styling are very upper crust 1970s. This, I dig.
Bouchra Jarrar actually brought out a pretty stellar collection of art deco-reminiscent jackets, dresses, and coats.
Chanel was so-so for me. I don’t know what it is, but Karl is just kind of bugging me lately. I hate the unflattering length on most of these dresses. It’s a cut that does no one any favors. Even the models come off stubby. Also, these sleeves, showing up everywhere in the collection, are awful: similarly unflattering and awkward. I know it’s Chanel and I know he’s La Lagerfeld, but, just, no.
Christian Dior: Again, this was a spectacular show. It’ll be getting it’s own post soon.
Jean Paul Gaultier was very true to himself, I felt. Playing up the drama and dramatizing the playful, though there wasn’t much here we hadn’t seen before. The palette was dark, the good old fall back for fall.
Collage is certainly the only visual art in which I participate.1 (Well, that and maybe Getting Dressed. After all, I do try to throw a little artistry into that daily grind.)
And that is definitely one strong appeal for the art form: its accessibility in regard to participation (if not appreciation). It is, by definition, cutting and pasting. And unlike with painting, sculpture, et al., collage is an easy(ish) visual art for anyone creative. You don’t really need a good hand if you have a good eye.2
Really though, ease is not the point. I am constantly and consistently compelled by art and fashion that incorporates collage because there is something so exemplary of the Zeitgeist about collage. It’s so indicative of Our Times. (It’s also, I think, a really strong metaphor for identity, but that’s a whole other conversation.)
After all, mes amis, this is the Information Age. We are context laden, lousy with allusions and inspirations. And Collages as a species (and with the capital C) seem to be manifestations of this awareness. The images and text used in a single piece can come from anywhere and are almost necessarily anachronistic. They absolutely, by necessity come from multiple sources.
As a concept collages are very Of the Now, is what I mean.
Other Players in the Zeitgeist that are similarly reference-heavy include:
Vampire Weekend (who I want to be annoyed by but instead, lately, I can’t stop listening to them).
The whole idea of Steam Punk anything.
“That’s so meta.”
So what does this have to do with fashion?
Well, several things I think. One, fashion in general, and Getting Dressed specifically, can be thought of in similar terms as collage art: the layering of disparate elements, the assumed diversity of source materials, the varied references, all different one from the other, or evocatively similar.
Think about this: In only the last ten years, major and minor lines have explicitly referenced looks from the last 200 years. To say nothing of more subtle or oblique references. To say nothing of influences that come from art or film (or whathaveyou).
What this all means–the mishmash of prints and patterns and pieces, the amalgamation of cues and clues to any number of historical periods, physical locations, political movements, and/or specific peoples–is that our wardrobes are similarly chock-full of content, context, and connotations.
It also means that, despite the fact that it sometimes seems there isn’t a creative idea left in the universe (the movie based off the musical based off the TV show named after the song, the endless stream of remakes), we have nothing but abundance to inspire us and no boundaries to hedge in how we play them off of each other. Regardless of the mediums in which we work.
Par exemple, I turned the big, North-facing wall of my small Bordeaux apartment into a collage/mural. It had to be ripped (and I do mean ripped) down before I moved out of that apartment (and kicked the “ex” from my expat life).
I go to this Visionary Collage party every new year (early January) where everyone brings old magazines (and so on) and scissors and creates a piece about what they want for the coming 12 months. It’s awesome.
Sartorially, I have been gravitating frequently to gray these days.
I’ve got this gray, Silence and Noise tank, the tank version of this leotard, that I have been rocking frequently. Out of embarrassment I wore my striped shirt today to get my coffee but then changed back into this comfy number once again home. I’m washing it tomorrow so it can come to the wedding in Philo with me this weekend.
I’ve got a treasured, heather gray maxi skirt that hangs off the A quite nicely. It’s a bit moody and a bit blue in some lights but I love it. I got it at a clothing exchange years ago. The silhouette is statuesque yet flowy, and it somehow makes me seem taller than I am. And, again, it’s GRAY so it too has been put into rotation quite frequently as of late.
Finally, I’ve got that rad fur vest that Erin gave me. This is maybe my favorite thing ever.
I want to stress that this does not mean my mood is grey nor should this suggest to anyone Not in the Bay that we are currently plagued by gray weather, because my mood is pretty high and the weather is AMAZING, all blue skies and warm temps and “Man I love it here.” I think the lack of color here has more to do with a desire to pop.
See springtime in Berkeley is an explosion of color, the brightest in the spectrum, everywhere, everything in bloom, flowering, bitchslapping my sinuses with their pollen-heavy splendor, Roy G. Biv dropping rhymes all over town, Nature just showing off–so wearing gray is almost the only way to be seen.
It’s also a variant spelling word, which as a Grammar Dork and Crossword Doer and Logophile I think is really cool. G-R-E-Y, like the Metric System, appears to be the preferred everywhere but America. “GrAy” in America and “grEy” in England. Both me and Wikipedia have heard that gray can refer literally to the color and grey to the metaphorical mood or state of being. Or GreyvsGray.com says they can refer too to different shades of gray.2
Two of the best and most highly praised and talked about lines seem, to me, so perfectly matched to one another and fitting for a swanky, boho beach soirée. I’ve chosen a few key jewelry pieces by Bay Area designers to go with these looks. Like check out these out-in-nature appropriate, “weirdly beautiful” earrings. They’d be great with any of these looks and I’d kind of wear them with everything really. Beetles are awesome.
The prints in this collection are just insanely amazing.
On a clean and complimentary color palette of black, navy, baby blue, and pale pink–with punches of lipstick red–Miuccia Prada has placed repeating prints of cats, dogs, birds, hippie-esque daisies, and reclining nudes.
After the sleek and slim pantsuits, Prada’s put dresses and tops of “nude” mesh overlain with gorgeous sequin detailing. For many of these, those great prints are used on the arms, giving the whole look an odd but alluring and backwards feel. “Backwards” because normally we’re fine baring arms but like to keep our torsos covered, and here you see the opposite: arms are covered and prim and the length of the body will be sheerly- and sequin- covered.
Some of the looks in this collection can come off overly odd, but I would recommend looking through the detail shots where the from-afar-awkwardness can be seen for all its quirky but perfectly executed WOW.
I’m not even sure who these clothes are for or where I would wear them, but the innocence punched through with nudge-nudge, wink-wink charm is ultimately alluring. I totally get why everyone’s falling over themselves to praise this collection.
And how cool would that Tina Tarnoff Louis XVI Chair Brooch look against any one of these looks?
His side-slitting skirts are so yummy, and the cutout factor is high. I think I need to find a way to DIY this beckoning, burgeoning trend.
Kane is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorite designers.
He’s creative and seems to be pushing himself. His designs, in my humble opinion, are clever, quirkly, and yet totally wearable. Seriously, I’d take any one of these dresses and any one of his designs from previous (and even unseen future) lines. Remember this screaming chimpanzee dress? Everyone went wild over that one too.
Based in Oakland, Mermaiden Creations is the ecclectic, creative brainchild of a self-described ADD crafter. Her etsy shop is an eclectica of handmade unusual jewelry, bewitching hats and wickedly whimsical wonders. On top of featuring wildly different and wild creations, her prices are fantastically affordable. Those beetle earrings? They’re only $10! I know, crazy.
Tina Tarnoff is a San Francisco-based artist. Her jewelry is created using prints of her papercut images, which are set under a clear cabochon dome. They include necklaces, chokers and brooches in various styles. The jewelry comes beautifully packaged and makes the perfect present. That Louis XVI chair brooch is only $35. Most of her designs are similarly charming and reasonably priced.
Ploust creates alluring jewelry based of the sea. I absolutely love her sea urchin rings and necklaces. She also has an etsy shop where you can purchase her pieces. Cast directly from sea urchin shells collected from Pacific Ocean tide pools, this collection captures sensual nature as wearable art. All five of her hand-mixed colors try to capture the moods of the ocean and its beaches. The ring above, atomized metal-infused resin on an acrylic band, is $35.
Friends, readers, contrymen: Support local artists!