Fiery in nature, red is a standout this fall, especially for those who wish to be noticed.
Ready to create a fashion sensation? This fall you’ve got plenty of tantalizing choices. Exotic, fashion-forward runway trends that debuted in New York, Milan and Paris last February usually take a few months to filter into Colorado, but fear not! Nordstrom Fashion Creative Director Gregg Andrews, Unity Marketing’s luxury brands researcher Pam Danziger and The Broadmoor’s Director of Retail Rhonda Kenny all weigh in on trends to watch.
so what’s inspiring designers this season—and what will motivate consumers to splurge?Artisan and ethnic prints
Whether it’s bright African-inspired geometrics, angles or deconstructed patterns paired with black or more intricate Indian or Moroccan motifs featuring paisley, tile prints and small patterns in rich colors, this fall offers a plethora of prints.
Nordstrom’s Gregg Andrews credits the Internet for fashion’s fascination with ethnic-inspired fabrics and hand-woven textures that suggest an artisan’s touch and counteract the tech-manufactured feel of modern day life. “Suddenly handwrought and authentic clothing or fabrics have become more important,” he says.
Broadmoor’s Kenny says she expects the hotel’s upscale Boutique, which carries designers like Tory Burch, Kate Spade and Joseph Ribicoff, to see prints galore. “In Colorado Springs, you’ll find them in art motifs, graphics and frenetic patterns in black/white, oranges and browns,” she says, adding that dresses in flower prints and animal prints are traditionally best sellers.
Menswear and soft feminine pair-ups
Andrews, who attended the New York Fall Runway Shows, saw male and female fashion energies unite. Imagine a blush and rose-tone soft silk blouse paired with chocolate, camel or gray tweeds and herringbones. Or a comfy knit peeking out from under a leather jacket and topping slim-fitting indigo designer jeans.
Kenny sees the same trend play out as turtlenecks team with ankle pants or as flare sleeved tops and dresses in orange, light pinks and yellow soften autumn’s harder edges. Smart tailored double-breasted suits also take center stage in black, navy and gray, complemented by light gray, neutral and blush-toned sweaters.
Premium denim reigns
Since the recession, fashion-conscious shoppers have to make some hard choices. Many consumers have fewer discretionary dollars to spend. Andrews and Kenny agree that’s one reason premium denim jeans remain a valuable wardrobe essential. They provide a great basic that can be paired with a blazer for work or accented at night with a pretty top.
“You can mix them with a classy tweed jacket from one department and pick up an inexpensive tee shirt at our (Nordstrom’s) Top Shop,” Andrews says, adding that top brands include Hudson, J. Brand, Rag & Bone as well as Paige and Citizens for Humanity.
Accessories more important than ever
Both retailers predict that fall brings an increased focus on the accessories that “make” an outfit. Handbags reflect an investment, Andrews says. “What’s nice is that every woman can have a great look without having to worry about size – and a quality bag has become essential in a woman’s wardrobe.”
Softer, slouchier satchels rather than hard-framed bags are new along with light, structured classic silhouettes updated with color or floral prints. The standard basic black purse or shoes matching bag now gives way to colorful hues. Long scarves, already a wardrobe staple, are joined by fur or fake fur and were seen atop oversized coats and layered knits or turtlenecks.
Danzigner says heightened focus on accessories comes, in part, in response to tighter discretionary spending. She sees brand makers expanding their lines, offering less expensive options. “Remember dress for success where you bought a whole look? That’s pretty much over,” she says. “There’s a “new austerity” in the luxury market, even among the affluent.
Retailers like Nordstrom have taken note. “Designers really understand the importance of making their brands available for everyone, from haute couture to a designer cell phone cover,” Andrews says.
Examples include Michael Kors, which also offers a less expensive “Michael” line. Donna Karan created DKNY. And Ralph Lauren Couture, Black Label, Blue Label, RL or Chaps are each geared for different tastes and budgets.
New softer, fuller silhouettes
Skirts and dresses are voluminous, giving a Parisian feel to the looks at Michael Kors, J. Crew Collection and Marc Jacobs February shows. Both blouses and sweaters had a mix of an oversized, billowy look and a more structured fit. Button-up shirts were shown fastened all the way to the top button.
Paired with flats, boots or tights for Colorado winters, Kenny adds that 60s retro “high waisted Dolly-bird dresses are another “TDF” item for fall.
The combination of bigger coats - often belted - over lush knits was also popular, as were soft blush and flesh-toned tops paired with deeper-color pants or skirts.
Chanel featured tweedy jackets, coats and sweaters worn over knee-length wool shorts.
Boots and hosiery
Whether booties, high-heeled, mid-calf, Western or above- the- knee, boot shapes and lengths of all kinds are everywhere. So are stacked, rather than leather heels – many in contrasting colors.
For fall into winter, hosiery can be a great tool. “You might take spring or fall weight clothes and add tights with booties. It’s a great way to transition, before moving to heavier winter wools,” Andrews advises.
Ultimately, fall’s looks are about personal style. Shoes and bags no longer have to match, a trend in contrast to the 80s when there wasn’t much choice. “You saw lots of cobalt blue, hot pink or red and high heels with gold jewelry– that was it,” Andrews explains.
This fall’s mantra: watch for figure-flattering looks and enjoy fashion’s many choices. Wear an African-inspired dress one day or minimalistic, clean, tailored lines the next.
Smart dressers will make an impact by mixing a pricey cashmere sweater with looser, silky pants. They’ll toss a long scarf over a knee length coat and longer skirt – or sport a yellow patent bag with skinny jeans and belted jacket.
Bottom line, says Andrews, “You can mix high and low together for a truly organic shopping experience.”