For many of us, September marks a return to back-to-school and back-to-work routines (for those of us fortunate to have had lazy summer days off). In the world of women’s fashion, it’s also the time when our store shelves are newly stocked with the latest Fall collections. What we’re not used to seeing, however, are customers arriving in store wearing their Fall outfits!
Mother Nature has certainly been temperamental at best, giving us blistering hot weather one day, only to deliver a big chill the next. It has me thinking not only about upcoming Fall trends, but perhaps more importantly, how to wear them. Most fashion trends, after all, are best used as inspiration for your own fashionable tastes, not as hard and fast rules.
Let’s take the biker revival trend as an example. You’ll find a variety of jackets and coats this season sporting biker influences, such as motorcycle quilting, angled zippers and lots of buckles. The look was first popularized by the likes of Marlon Brando in The Wild One. Today, that iconic 50s biker image is still going strong, but it doesn’t mean you have to look like you just slid off a Harley. Instead, be creative and have fun, such as pairing a more feminine leather jacket layered over a lightweight dress.
Another vintage trend on the rise for Fall is the cardigan sweater paired with a fuller skirt. Think Audrey Hepburn and similar starlets of the 50s and 60s. It’s a look perfectly suited to the mature yet fashionable businesswoman who prefers a subtly sophisticated sense of style.
A tribute to the Punk movement from the likes of Jean Paul Gautier and Moschino likewise figured prominently on the runway. It’s clearly a big trend for Fall, but you’d not be alone in wondering how to integrate this youthful counter-culture look into your own outfits. As with all trends, the key is to take want you like and leave the rest. For example, choose a thinner, more feminine leather punk cuff as a stylish accent (but leave the black lipstick at home).
One of the most esteemed designers of the day, Alber Ebaz, Creative Director for Lanvin, has a fall promotional campaign featuring diva-like styling, complete with gloves above the elbow and head-turning turbans. One might ask themselves, “How reasonable is this look for me?” Fortunately, the likes of Canadian design house Pink Tartan offer a more wearable version.
In the end, it all comes down to how you interpret the trends you like most. Fortunately, it’s also an area where many of us in the fashion retail business take great pride in being able to help. By working with the associates at your local retailer, you can get knowledgeable advice on how best to enhance your own look with some of Fall’s standout pieces.
Best of all, with the unpredictable weather of late, a more eclectic layered approach to fashion will help you navigate from summer to Fall in absolute style. So have fun and get creative.
Mark Gould is the president of Milli – a fashion boutique in business in Hamilton since 1964 and in Yorkville since 2004. www.milli.ca