The fashion equivalent of the wheel was invented long ago. If we’re all wearing space suits in 50 years, they will have been inspired by some aspect of 20th century design. Judy Jetson. Star Trek. A walk on the moon. Sooo last century. And the flatter the world gets the more innovation it takes to knock up off our feet.
And so it is with fashion.
What’s new is new again.
You can’t do the same thing season after season. Well you can. And most successful companies do. Best sellers are repeated. And repeated. And repeated. BUT every season starts with the question, “What’s New?” It becomes a creative recycling of ideas.
The trends listed here are the ones most likely to influence what we will see at retail this season. The opinions are my own. I try to stay unbiased but some things are just so ripe for comment that I can’t help myself.
The High-Low hem. AKA the Angled hem. There are so few ways to make this look good and so many ways to make it look really goofy. Like a trend that tried too hard. Even if you invest in a designer version, don’t plan to wear it next year. It’ll probably have the life cycle of a mayfly. It’s the fashion equivalent of the mullet. Turq Tunic Metro Style ($24, for those who can’t resist a trend).
Knit Dressing. Women have been in love with knit dressing since the death of the girdle. Each decade after its demise knit has given us more and more comfort dressing. What’s not to like about having our cake and eating it too? Head to toe knits aren’t just for working out. This season they will be polished and sophisticated. Piazza Sempione Dress. Prana Hooded Dress. Eileen Fisher long cardigan. Eileen Fisher knit dressing.
Menswear. Can’t go wrong here. Well cut suits and separates can accentuate the positive and hide lots of sins. They’ve been doing this for men for over a century. To do this they have to fit right. If you don’t have a good tailor, find one. On a woman menswear tailoring can be SOOO sexy and chic. A diaphanous silk or cashmere scarf, a scarlet suede pump or a sharp clutch adds a feminizing element.
Ann Taylor Jacket and Pant. Talbot’s Print Blouse. CP Shades Tunic/Dress. Stella McCartney Glen Plaid Blazer. Damon & Drapers Tweed Jacket. Cole Haan Scarlet Suede Pump. Zac Posen Bag for Saks off 5th.
Coats. Ponchos. Raincoats. Robe Coats (a la Hugh Hefner). Shearling. Duvet Covers. This wardrobe essential is one of the hottest items of the season. After the monstrous winter we had many designers worked their magic on coats. That’s where the similarity ends though. There are many diverse, creative ways to keep chicly warm this winter. Utilitarian? Yes. Boring fashion afterthought. NO!!!
Ralph Lauren packable puffer. Michael Kors packable puffer. Rad Hourani blanket wrap. Sacai Luck Tribal Wrap. Burberry Knit Jacquard Coat. North Style Blanket Jacket. Valentino Stripe Blanket Coat. Chico’s Sweater Coat.
Ski Chic|Fairisle|Nordic. Granny probably knitted you one years ago. Keep it. Because she made it. But if this style floats your boat, find something updated this season. Tommy Hilfiger will probably do this to death. It’s right up his alley.
Fur. What happened to PETA? Suddenly real fur is everywhere. Some designers, like Stella McCartney, take a stand against it and hold steady. I LOVE her for that. The others are styling it as though it was just another fabric. Giving fur color, cut and styling that goes WAY beyond the prim stoles and matronly mink coats our mothers wore. If you’re going to do Fur, FAKE it. For a lot of reasons. Style. Price. Conscience. Fabulous Fakes Panther Print. Chico’s Faux Suede Vest. Ainea Faux Fur Animal Print. Chico’s Zebra Sweater Vest.
Feathers. Why oh why do birds have to die so we can channel burlesque queens? A feather in your cap is one thing, but feathering your booty is another. Vintage Cocktail Bag. Sondra Roberts Evening Bag. Milly Coat. Yours Plus Feather Print Maxi Dress. Wayf Feather Print Tunic/Dress Nordstrom.
Tapestry. Jackets, coats, bags and prints. Tapestry hasn’t looked this good since Scarlett O’Hara wore the drapes
Alice & Olivia Coat. Burberry Tapestry Bag. Tapestry Carpetbag. Vintage Jacket (Etsy). Nine West Slip-on Shoes. Norm Thompson Jacket. Vintage Evening Bag (Ebay).
Fairy Tales. Once upon a time. Every girl a princess and every toad a prince. Life is hard on princesses sometimes. Fairy Godmothers go missing. Princes turn out to be toads. But we never stop wishing for Happily Ever After. ‛Optimism’ is always in style. Modern day princesses will love the girly details. Floral prints and embroideries, feminine dresses and blouses in sheers or silks and jerseys that drape softly on the body. Tracy Reese Dress. Boston Proper Floral Chiffon. Ted Baker Cross-body Bag. Tracy Reese Shirt. Lane Bryant Lace Dress. Diane Von Furstenberg Dress.
The 60s. The clothes were fun and funny. The politics were not. Same as always. The granny glasses and granny dresses weren’t so bad. But the micro minis and free-loving flower children probably made granny choke on her teeth. Let’s just get past all that. The chic A-line dresses and cool graphic prints made the transition from then to now. With style. All it takes is a modern designer’s practiced eye and imagination.
Chloe Pants. Talbots Dress. Chico’s Jacket. Vera Bradley Handbag. DVF Dress & Pant
Optical. These prints can be scary or chic. Which is true of a lot of what gets worn. Optical illusions can induce euphoric states of mediation or cringe-inducing seasickness. Somewhere in between there will be designers who interpret optical prints that a person can wear without getting lost in a “Where’s Waldo” nightmare. My money is on Diane Von Furstenberg. DVF Tunic. DVF Sweater. Talbots Dress.
Gauchos and Ponchos. I love the way they sound together.
Gauchos are the wide leg pants showing up for Fall 2014. They looked great on the runway. How will they do at retail? That remains to be seen. Ponchos have good shot because they are so understandable when done in sweater knits. I’d probably resist wearing ponchos and gauchos together. Even though it worked for Juan Valdez. Chico’s Solid Poncho Top. Orvis Split Skirt. Pucci Poncho. Chico’s Poncho. Novica Poncho. St. John’s Slim Gauchos.
Animal prints. I feel like I write this one every season. They’re practically always IN. Because they SELL! Everyone ‛gets’ leopard and zebra prints. They’ll probably wear out before they go out of style. I’m a big fan. But lately I‘m more inclined to animal print accessories than clothes. Feels more modern. But totally your call.
Chico’s Shirt. J Crew Rain boot. Talbots Bag. Nina Ricci Fake Fur Coat.
FYI. This season’s animal prints also feature the whole beast. Owls. Tigers. Fish. Teddy Bears…What looks tongue-in-cheek chic on young hipsters, can look goofy on anyone over 25. Something about this look reminds me of reindeer sweaters and crazy aunts. Dolce & Gabana Owl Dress.
Color & Accessories: Fall 2014. You CAN’T forget the shoes. And Bags. And JEWELS!