By Elizabeth Tamkin
Arts & Life Editor
It’s that time of year when the crisp cold of the morning conflicts with the warmth of the sun in the afternoon. The fall season has always been fashion-lovers’ domain when it comes to dressing and layering in favorite designers’ fall and winter lines to balance out inconvenient temperature changes throughout the day.
Fashion week just happens to fall early in the glamorous season. When it comes to fall fashion 2010, designer royalty such as Marc Jacobs and Rag and Bone are turning to the “Model-Off-Duty” look—that simple and carefree look of layers and casual comfort. Women all over New York City streets are finding ways to outsmart the conflicting weather patterns of the fall: a floral dress with cable-knit socks and chunky-heeled leather booties with a thick cardigan layered under an anorak is perfect as you can lose the anorak later in the day when the temperature rises.
Shorts don’t end with the summer season—fashionistas pair plaid wool shorts with thick cable-knit stockings. Leather oxfords weren’t only for prep school as this season women wear oxfords with stockings to pay some tribute to the menswear obsession. Don’t forget your briefcase—or satchel—as menswear doesn’t stop at shoes. Reasonably affordable brands like Tory Burch and J.Crew added sharp leather satchels to their collections this fall.
The blazer has stood strong for over a year now—with variations of the trend from sharp padded shoulders to cropped and double breasted editions. The menswear blazer has found company from the varsity jacket, a tribute to the 1950s.
“My blazer is my favorite article of clothing. Blazers can be worn for any occasion and they also work for every season, depending on the material it’s made from,” Meg Brenner ’14 said.
And the poncho and high-waisted pant didn’t die with the 1970s either. Ponchos have popped back up in fashion lines. Chloé, Alexander Wang and the resurrected Halston Heritage have each personalized this hot trend. Ponchos are found as cozy knits and thick woolen coats to keep the trendy warm. High-waisted pants have been sported only by the fashion elite. They tend to be one of those biased trends, as only a certain body type can wear them.
PETA would be proud—faux fur has been popping up in stores this season. Stylist Rachel Zoe of Bravo’s “The Rachel Zoe Project,” which just completed its third season, has expressed her love of the faux fur fashion trend via her newest line for QVC; the line includes reasonably priced faux fur vests and cropped coats.
“My faux fur vest looks pretty real, and I love wearing it with jeans or when dressing up, with a dress,” Julie Fraenkel ’14 said about the popular faux fur trend. “The only problem is, you can’t wear it in the rain.”
What PETA may not love is the plethora of shearling jackets of Helmut Lang or 3.1 Phillip Lim, who have included these jackets in their fall lines. But some brands, like TopShop and Juicy Couture, have turned the shearling jacket animal-friendly by incorporating faux leather and faux fur versions.
For those trendsetters and followers known as “shoe people,” the dainty ballet flat stays in the spotlight, joined by the western-styled bootie and second-year-strong over-the-knee boot.
“If you can’t tell, I love these boots,” Christina Maloomian ’14 said as she pointed to her own over-the-knee boots. “I’m considering asking for another pair.”
Women cannot get enough of the skinny-pant-chunky-shoe look to make petite frames look even more petite. Fashion icons Kim Kardashian, Kate Moss and Blake Lively have promoted the over-the-knee boot, and it doesn’t hurt that it has hit the runway again, either.
The fashion capitals of the world—New York, Paris, Milan and London—each proved deserving of their titles over recent months, starting with New York City Fashion Week in the beginning of September. While the shows were previews of the spring/summer styles for 2011, the women and men who attended the shows sported the trends of the current season. Because half of the excitement of fashion shows is what the audience chooses to wear, it wouldn’t be fair not to mention the exotic street styles. Women followed the trends but made them their own by adding various pops of color or the random statement accessories.
In the Spotlight: the high-waisted pant
Déjà vu? The high-waisted pant has resurrected since its last run in the ’70s. Whether used in a denim or woolen short or in a pantsuit, the high-waisted pant has proven itself prominent in the fall 2010 fashion season and seems to be continuing into the spring/summer 2011 season, as demonstrated by the most recent fashion shows. Interested in purchasing a pair to add to your wardrobe? Well, Chloé, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Emilio Pucci and Alberta Ferretti each have made this pant their own but at a cost of sometimes even $1,000. For the average fashion-forward woman, Theory, Alexander Wang and several jean companies such as J Brand or Current/Elliot have also provide you with variations of the pant. Welcome back to the ’70s!
Nails, nails, nails! Women have become obsessed with manicures, and they have injected this part of their grooming with trends. Chanel is known to be the primary nail trendsetter, as their colors tend to sell out within days of their debut. Rachel Zoe’s collection of nail polishes illustrates the love of Chanel’s nail “colours” perfectly.
Today, nail trends go beyond the perfectly polished fingernail; manicures now include a “matte finish” which dulls down the shine of the nail, or even the chipped-nail trend, which, just as it sounds, is chipped nail polish—women pay extra for this imperfect manicure. And patterns don’t end at the clothes you wear: recently, manicures include checkered prints, polka dots and animal prints. Next time you go to the nail salon, ditch the outdated bright pink and go for a “khaki brun” or even a zebra print, if you dare.
An urban gem for footwear
With so many trips to cities offered here at the University, why not take advantage of the ones to New York City, the fashion capital of the world? The bountiful amounts of stores are nothing less than spectacular and equally amazing are the women walking down the streets dressed head-to-toe in the greatest shopping finds known to mankind. David Z., located in eight different locations in the Big Apple, is home to new rustic footwear styles and classic brands. From the newest UGG boots (which by the way, include some new motorcycle-inspired boots whose edgy details make you wonder if they are even UGGs, even though they still have the warm sheepskin lining) and classic Converse fashion sneakers, to the more fashion-forward style of Jeffrey Campbell, David Z. has both comfort and style in mind. With the western-style leather bootie popping up everywhere, David Z. is a necessary visit.