by Barbara Barton Sloane
As Fall quickly approaches, it’s time to take a look at the runway trends that will set the tone for the season. Here are some of the hottest Fall/Winter looks from New York, London, Milan and Paris, from a huge 1980 fashion revival (think big shoulders and black leather), to futuristic metallics and menswear-inspired jackets. check out these trends to keep on your radar:
In the beginning, there was Margaretha Ley, who created Escada designed to appeal to a high-flying, diverse group of women. Today, Director Niall Sloan says “What we want to do is reconnect with the heyday of Escada, meaning the ‘80s and he ‘90s, and that is perfect with the trends that we are in right now.” The timing is completely right. Archival pieces and collections have been looking back as they move forward. Thus, on the runway, we had a long cashmere cardigan with Warholian letters spelling Escada that could be worn as a dress by younger customers. And there was also an eggshell blue power suit fastened with a single gold button that cut a scintillatingly slick figure. History repeats itself, and in this case with a little refinement, it’s a cool thing and something that Escada is artfully celebrating.
Miuccia Prada loves an excuse to throw Miu Miu back to the ‘50s and ‘60s, but this time she said she was less interested in explaining the whys and wherefores than in portraying “personalities, different people, and to be diverse…” The chain necklaces, mohair sweaters, and hairdos were liftoff points for a collection that was fun. The show featured brocade below-the-knee pencil dresses, like the kind of vintage styles girls would fight over at a flea market. No need to do that now as these looks will all be there at Miu Miu come Fall.
Pop hits of the past half-century formed a medley on the Michael Kors soundtrack – everything from Julie Andrews’ “My Favorite Things,” to Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” The lively sampling was the key to this collection. Kors called it a love letter to individual style. He gave us a little bit of everything. There were grunge plaids and slip dresses, a “Jackie O’-at- Doubleday” camel leather trench and even some throw-back Faire Isle prints. One happy fresh-floral, mid-calf frock in persimmon and pumpkin flowers was both full yet streamlined comfy – and just what we’re craving right now!
BCBG Max Azria is back showing collections to the public again, and Fall is the label’s second season with its new creative director, Bernd Kroeber. The man has not lost sight of BCBG’s core, or as he put it “The fusion of modern and romantic. We explore the contrast of hard and soft and masculine and feminine.” This hard and soft element was evident at the show, and translated through the pairing of tough outerwear with feminine dress. A cropped-to-the-waist leather coat sat wonderfully on the body, breaking up the tiered flounce of a maxi skirt. Gay and oh-so-wearable was Kroeber’s tomato-red top that ended at the hip in a flurry of ruffles, worn over narrow black trousers that ended, of course, just at the ankle.
This season, the Jenny Packham woman headed to outer space, as the designer cheekily imagined a collection of gowns meant for the first intergalactic awards red carpet. “It’s a form of escapism, isn’t it?” Packham said of her far-flung inspiration. Indeed, when the outlook on Earth is so bleak, where else to look but upward? Current affairs aside, there was a stunning black tulle number and matching cape, and a fluid organza skirt that looked like silver mercury as it moved.
Mercury indeed was Packham’s youthful, cropped to mid-thigh number, v-necked and with tight sleeves reaching to the wrist. Many of this Brit’s pieces seem destined for the red carpet where they’ll no doubt shine beautifully.
Elie Saab’s collection was dark and shown in a dark room, but his lace, fringing and ruffles swirled in an assembled cloud of decidedly wholesome glamour. This included a silk skirt decorated with dyed fur flowers, a big-shouldered knit, two gold mesh dresses and a sequined tuxedo jacket garlanded with crystal bows and flourishes.Turning up the wow-factor: a sweetly retiring beige and white print dress encircled with a wide turquoise belt and topped with a 40’s-inspired, big-shouldered fur dyed, what else? Turquoise! Suddenly, Saab’s use of the phrase “You’ll float like a feather through a beautiful world” didn’t seem so surprising.
Let’s all sally forth just that way – let’s float – feather-light – into Fall!
Barbara Barton Sloane is a Pelham-based Fashion and Travel Editor/Columnist who writes for a number of both national and international publications. She delights in sharing her global travel and fashion experiences.