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Warm up with fall fashions

29 Sep

Spring and summer fashions focused on athletic styles, crop tops and artsy prints. And while we do see some overlap in the trends transitioning into fall, this season is all about the mod vibe, cozy textures, bold graphic prints and colour combinations. With trends ranging from low-key, casual knits to dramatic patterned dresses, the fall and winter season has something to suit every style.

One of the biggest trends to hit fall collections is the 60s look. Gucci channelled the swinging 60s vibe with structured, collarless pea coats. Over at Dsquared, 60s glamour and shorter hemlines owned the runway as the designers displayed fur trimmed shift minidresses and blue python microminis. Youthful shift dresses at Saint Laurent paid homage to London’s 1960s mod and music scene. Characterized by A-line coats and short hemlines, complete the retro 60s silhouette with mock turtlenecks and knee-high boots.

60s mod revived at Dsquared.

Sixties mod revived at Dsquared.

In terms of fabrics for this season, the cozier the better. Befitting the colder weather, knitwear is a huge trend for fall and winter this year. And the main idea is to go big or go home. Overexaggerated sweaters and head-to-toe knit ensembles were spotted at Celine and Marc Jacobs. Michael Kors, meanwhile, paired their luxuriously long cardigans with chunky knit scarves. And the normally glamorous Lanvin added some casual elegance to his collection with ruffled-hem sweater dresses. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s fashion line The Row, in particular, took knitwear to another level with a look consisting of an extremely oversized cowl-neck cashmere sweater and matching knit skirt. For the fashion forward, rock the sweater trend with knit pants this season.

Cozy up with knit on knit fashions as seen at Celine.

Cozy up with knit on knit fashions as seen at Celine.

Shearling is another huge texture trend for this season. The plush fur, faux or real, can add a sophisticated touch to any outfit. The easiest way to incorporate shearling is through a coat or vest like at Isabel Marant. Whether lined with the fur or just small trim details like at Oscar de la Renta, the textile creates a luxe Aspen vibe. Prada and 3.1 Phillip Lim both showcased colour-blocked, patchwork shearling coats, Marni mixed the fur with metallic.

Perhaps it’s to offset the grey skies coming our way this seasons, but in terms of colour trends, designers opted for vibrant shades in their fall/winter collections. The “It” piece that had fashion audiences reaching for their camera apps was Joseph Altuzarra’s bright pink and grey wrap coat. The hot pink provided a striking contrast to the otherwise muted robe coat. Dior also created a showstopper with their bright pink and green dress combination. Reviving the colour-blocking trend from previous seasons, Prabal Gurung used a more traditionally warm autumn colour palette such as auburn, orange and reds and paired them with greys and black.

Bright psychedelic prints at Dries Van Noten.

Bright psychedelic prints at Dries Van Noten.

Eye-catching prints are also hot for fall. Marc by Marc Jacobs showed graphic prints and patterns fit for a tough biker chick. Kenzo embraced dark surrealism using embroidery and printed fabrics while Proenza Schouler created a cool effect with multi-layered prints and 3-D textures. Even Chanel incorporated funky geometric patterns onto their coats and dresses. A mix of rave culture, optical illusion and art exhibit, the print trend this season is not for the fashion shy. Ease into the trend using graphic print accessories such as bags, shoes or caps and keep the rest of the ensemble relatively simple. Sometimes one statement piece is all you need to make your outfit stand out.

Fall is always a great time to experiment with personal style since we can layer items we already love with new trendy pieces. So explore this season’s trends and have fun with fashion!

[Article first appeared in the Sept. 10 issue of Richmond Review.]

Warm up with winter accessories

16 Nov

With the end of daylight saving time everyone’s gearing up for the change in seasons. Our closets may be packed with cozy sweaters and down jackets, but winter preparation isn’t complete without cold weather shoes and accessories. Here are some ideas on incorporating accessory trends to stay stylishly warm in wet and frosty conditions.

Other than a good coat, shoes are one of the main components of dress that can determine whether you’ll be dry and toasty for the day, or drenched and freezing. Warm boots are an essential. Cute rainboots are a great pick for rainy fall days, but when the temperature drops, you’ll want something both stylish and functional. When shopping for a winter boot, you’ll want to look for enough insulation to keep your toes warm, so check the lining and insole material. Shearling wool makes for a warm and comfortable option as does thermal material such as Thinsulate.

Mid-height snow boots, such as these ones from Sorel, make for a more casual look.

Mid-height snow boots, such as these ones from Sorel, make for a more casual look.

In addition to lining material, ensure your winter boots are waterproof and have enough traction. Wet leaves and icy sidewalks can easily lead to slips, so if you feel your favourite winter boots are doing more sliding than strolling, take them into a shoe repair shop to replace the outsole. Since you want to keep in heat, opt for slim fit bottoms to tuck into your winter boots. Pairing leggings, skinny jeans or tights with your boots will create a less bulky look. For a trendy option, try combat boots. Punk and grunge are huge for this season. Rock some combat boots with tartan jeans and a leather jacket for a punk style. Or portray a grungier sensibility by wearing combat boots with an oversized cardigan, babydoll dress and black tights.

For scarves, circular versions are still a popular option, whether as an infinity scarf or a snood. Snoods are tubular neckwear that can be either worn as a scarf, or pulled over the head and lower face like a hood. Whereas infinity scarves are usually wrapped around the neck several times snoods are a simpler, yet just as stylish, alternative. Scarves are a great way to add a pop of colour to an otherwise neutral ensemble, so go for chunky knit scarf or snood in a bold hue this winter. If you want to sport one of this season’s trends try wearing a plaid scarf. Plaids, checks, tartans and houndstooth are hot patterns for fall and winter, and accessories are the perfect area to try out a trend. Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns in your outfit — the key is to find patterned items with a similar colour palette.

Change up your scarf routine with a chunky snood.

Change up your scarf routine with a chunky snood.

Just like a colourful scarf can provide some much needed brightness to dreary grey days, the same can be said for a fun winter hat. One easy-to-wear trend is a slouchy beanie. Also known as a tuque, look for beanies that are close-fitting around the head and loose on top for a slouchy style. Flattering for most face shapes, tuques are available in a variety of material, colours and patterns. Find one that expresses your sense of style or personality so you’ll be more likely to grab it before heading out the door.

Cure the winter blahs with a fun, colourful tuque.

Cure the winter blahs with a fun, colourful tuque like this mustard version from Zara.

Gloves are another winter accessory essential. While fitted leather gloves are a timeless and elegant choice, a more practical idea may be capacitive gloves for frequent smartphone users. The capacitive threads in the fingertips will allow you to use your touchscreen devices, so now you’ll be able to change your music selection or reply a text without exposing your hands to the elements.

Dressing for the cold weather doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Incorporating fashionable, yet functional, winter accessories into your wardrobe will allow you to stay chic even in subzero temperatures.

[Article first appeared in the Nov. 13 issue of Richmond Review.]