More Fall Trends, Brought to You by Etro

This is crazytown. I want it.

Vogue calls Etro, the eponymous house of Veronica Etro, “a kind of Italian answer to Dries Van Noten, which anyone who’s been reading for a while knows I LOVE.1

Too often runway looks don't translate to an actual wardrobe. I actually think this look is something that would work BETTER in real life. Camel is a fantastic color for fall. Leopard print is Grande Dame fun. Though I would switch out that fugly shirt with a grey crewneck tee or fitted sweater.

Easy things to look out for this fall include: menswear, animal prints, leopard print (specifically), camel (the color), jewel tones, fur (as previously mentioned), capes!!, military-inspired (again), big necklaces (again), embellishments.

How great is this?!?! LOVE. Note how the lining matches those beautiful shoes. I want the whole damn thing.

They’re all here in Etro. Give the whole collection a look, you’ll see what I say is the truth.

Holy trend alert: We've got fur, menswear, mixed prints, leopard print all making a showing.

They’re all also things that are either A) already in your closet or B) totally thriftable.

Gorgeous color. Awesome necklace. Cool, embellished tights. Check. Check. Check.

1. Okay, admission: Dries’ Fall 2010 was not my favorite thing that crazy Belgian’s ever done. That said, I still love love love him, want very terribly to have anything of his, want very terribly to get drunk at lunch with him. Also, even though as a whole I was not drooling over this rounds offerings, Look 43 was probably my FAVORITE thing that happened in the entirety of Fall 2010, anywhere.

I just think this is a really cool look.

Isabel Marant: Forwarding Fall Fashion

Isabel Marant is one of my always favorites: ohh-la-la French incarnate, uber-wearable, ultra-chic.

See what I mean? It's oh so French, oh so cool.

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.

Faux Fur

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.

Skinny jeans and a big ol' crazy fur coat: You need nothing more to be hip as a hellcat. The great thing about this trend is that it's oh-so-easy to find it in a thrift store.

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.

Here we've got the great Freja Beha Erichsen rocking the sleek slack in stupendous print. Also, bringing along the bad-ass and highlighting the next trend...

Leather

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.

Sasha Pivovarova (I love her name--so many V's) rocking the wild print and strong shoulder with THE BEST PAIR OF LEATHER PANTS I've ever seen. Covet.

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.

Texturize

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.

It's all moody greys, but what could be easily dull and tired instead pops thanks to sparkle paired with brushed wool and easy cottons.

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.

Yes. Please.

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.

Style U to Style You: Accent, Accessorize, Adorn

I’ve been asked in the past, specifically and most recently by the immeasurably talented and increasingly stylish Annie Bacon, to impart some style tips upon my dozens! of readers.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, trying to figure out what exactly I want to say about Style and how to impart my suggestions for dress.

The simplest outfits benefit from major bling. Your favorite jeans from high school (which you refuse to throw out because, hello, you've had them since HIGH SCHOOL) and your lover's ratty undershirt (that you wear because it smells like him) are suddenly smoking with select accessories. P.S. Doesn't that necklace remind you of Sasha Tierney's stuff? Also I love anything with scarab beetles.

Because one of the things that I knew I didn’t want to do in this blog was to post a bunch of DON’Ts.

One, I think that a great, key thing about fashion is that it is our visual and outward avenue for self-expression, and I just never want to be the person to say that x,y,z is an inappropriate or unattractive way to do that. I’ve got Liberté (French for “freedom”) tattooed across my hip so clearly personal liberty is big with me.

Two, the Internets are full of haters, and I would rather just stay out of that whole mess of vitriol, pleasethankyouandyou’rewelcomeokayiloveyoubyebye.

Three, rules are meant to be broken. So I can say “Oh khakis lack imagination and epitomize blah and boring and caution and Connecticut,” but then Michael Kors – with whom I really, really just want to have brunch, is that weird? – sends something like this down the runway and I’m all “Nevermind! I take it back!” and start scouring the Goodwills for a stain-free pair in my size and dreaming of that matching sweater.

No joke, I saved this image (months ago) as korsfa10theonlywaytomakekhakiscool.jpg

So, yeah.

My first suggestion for dress is simple: Accessorize!

Now, this may seem patently obvious, but throwing on a funky necklace can make the most casual, comfy, and lackluster of outfits seem chic. And on those days when you just don’t want to make an effort, your jewelry can elevate your look and make it seem, my dears, like you do give a damn.

This idea for jewelry display comes courtesy of Real Simple magazine. While awesome, you also can't go wrong with simple hooks or a checkerboard of nails in the wall. I love hooks.

Things to keep in mind:

  1. The whole process with be easier and faster, and you will wear more of your pieces with more frequency, if you have your jewelry and belts and so on out in the open. Put your bling on display. You’ll be more apt to remember it’s there, remember what you have, remember to put some on.
  2. Jewelry and other accessories don’t have to “match.” In fact, contrast is key to creating a dynamic look. Seriously, just grab the first necklace and/or earrings and rings you see and run with it. It’ll be fine. You’ll look great.
  3. Sometimes, more is more. Don’t be afraid to Go Big. That whole “before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror and remove one thing” rule? Kind of like white after Labor Day, or pantyhose, i.e. STUPID.
  4. Belts! They’re not just for holding your pants up. In fact, I’m pretty convinced they have naught to with that.
  5. Goodwill et al., Etsy.com, garage and estate sales, Cost Plus, and your mom are all wonderful sources of (often, very) cheap but quirky and unique pieces. Load up.

Cupcakes and Cashmere screwed decorative knobs into her bathroom wall. Google DIY jewelry display for a crapload more ideas.

A Word about the Seasons

The Fashion Industry is a strange beast. The old way of doing business is based on fashion’s relationship to another industry: namely, print media. Fashion shows occur six months in advance because (fashion) magazines have a three to six month lead time. Ostensibly, this six month jump also gives buyers a chance to make choices and place orders, but really it’s the magazine thing. Fashion magazines need about six months to go from planning to printing and fashion editorials are probably the biggest time sucks in this equation. Concepts are created, photographers chosen, models and crew picked, locations scouted, and so on. And it’s all based on the clothes. So it stands to reason that editors need to know the clothes before any of the rest can happen. And this makes sense. It’s always worked. Fashion editorials can be beautiful, can transcend even the designers’ own vision, can and do merge the ideas and output of the industry’s creative talents: designer, stylsit, hair and make-up, models, photographers, editors.1

Take, for example, this editorial with Kate Moss for W September 2009. It's shot beautifully by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, but...

...this dress came down the runway and flew to the tips of everyone's tongue a whole six months earlier, on March 1, 2009. This line was discussed and dissected countless times before it could appear in W's pages.

The thing is, print media is faltering: settling, repositioning, and at least a little bit crumbling in response to the all-holy, game-changing Internet. Because instead of a system where only the fashion elite (editors, celebs, socialites, buyers, journalists) are granted this advance access to designer collections, now anyone with a reliable connection can check out each and every line shown every season. Bloggers have given their thumbs-up or thumbs-down well before the Sunday Style section is dropped. Forever 21 and the like put out their knock-offs a week after the runway show and months before the real McCoys show up at Macy’s.

Recently, the Council of American Fashion Designers hosted a panel to discuss/debate this problem.2 Donna Karan and Elie Saab took the side of revisionist/revolution/”really this isn’t working anymore.” However trivial you may find fashion, this conversation is a critical one: creatively and economically. The fashion industry supplies jobs and stimulates commerce. Or at least it should.

These Chloe triangle-heel wedges came down the runway on October 6, 2007 as part of the Spring 2008 collection. Which, right there, just sounds wrong, no?

By the time the shoes above were released, F21 had come out with these iterations for under $30.

And however fun it may be to buy a trend item for less than the cost of a meal out, companies like Forever 21 also sort of represent everything that is wrong with the world. And in the world. They support the idea that quantity trumps quality. The cost of those cheap knockoffs is paid for by sweat shops, child labor, unfair practices, environmental abuse and pollution. And while those who can afford designer at retail aren’t often opting for the polyurethane knockoff, and while most of us buy the knockoffs because there’s no way we’re spending our rent check on a pair of shoes, the system that allows the knockoffs to hit the shelves before the real things is a broken system.3

So I’m firmly on the side of fixing this clusterfuck. The economy needs better, our creative talents deserve better, and the consumer should ask for more. Fashion weeks in the Big Four (Fall 2010) are going on now and it’s too overwhelming to consider that these are clothes we’re not supposed to wear for 6 months. Hell, there are so many shows to sift through that it’s overwhelming no matter what. So for this blog, I will discuss lines within the current season (and as inspiration strikes). This means that I will be bringing up some of my favorite Spring 2010 looks over the coming days and weeks. This also means, for the time being, until the system changes, I’m giving myself six months to sift through the many, many, many collections that are paraded out every season. I also want to take away the reliance on the idea of seasons, which I think is also already happening, is happening in response to the oddness and incompatibility of the industry’s workings to how real people really dress. We should be able to wear what we want, as is dictated by mood and weather. And if we’re going to talk about “seasons,” Scott is right and stores should sell gloves and coats when the weather is cold and warm weather clothes when the weather is actually warm.

1. Right now, nobody does high concept, well-executed editorials like W and Paris Vogue, in my humble opinion.
2. This article lays out the issue well and is pleasantly snarky to boot.
3. So though I’ve got some F21 and H&M dresses in my closet — and while I will admit that all of my sunglasses and underwear come from these stores — I think that supporting these stores is overall a bad call. Fashion is as much about cycles and imitation than innovation. So if you see a look or style you want to emulate, make a copy, don’t buy a copy. DIY FTW.