Tag Archives: fall

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.]

Outerwear trends: Fall/winter coats and accessories

26 Nov

Whether you dread the rain or embrace it, being caught in a downpour would go a lot smoother if you’re also dressed appropriately. Now that winter is coming, it’s time to dust off the wool coats and put the jean jackets back into storage. For those wanting to update their autumn and winter look with new outerwear, there are a variety of jacket trends to suit every style this season.

A really popular jacket at the moment is the parka. Utilitarian and a little bit sporty, the parka (or anorak, as it’s sometimes called) is a hooded jacket with the outershell usually composed of a polyester and cotton blend. The hood is typically fur-lined and, depending on the quality, parkas can also be down-filled and water-resistant for added warmth. Black and olive parkas are pretty ubiquitous so if you prefer to stand out in a crowd, opt for a more vibrant shade. Find ones that cinch at the waist for a more figure flattering silhouette.

Keep cozy in a fur-lined parka (like this one from Zara), one of this season’s hottest trends.

Leather is another huge trend for the season. Whether you go the rocker chic route or towards something more polished like a classic leather blazer, the texture’s versatility allows it to go well with both casual and dressy ensembles. A downside is they’re not so great with rain. Keep your leather jackets for days when it’s dry out and it will stay in good condition for years to come. It also helps to store the jacket away from heat on a padded or wooden hanger, and never in plastic bags since leather needs to breathe.

A mix of wool and leather, this Mackage coat is great for dry, windy days.

For those looking for outerwear that’s a little more avant-garde, try a lacquered jacket. Made from a type of plastic or PVC that imitates the sheen of leather and snake skin, lacquered jackets have a futuristic, waxy look to them. To avoid looking like you stepped out of The Matrix, go for shorter lacquered jackets that end at the hip or pick a vivid hue, such as burgundy or cobalt blue.

Another outerwear option for the colder months is the classic wool coat. The trend this season is for sailor- and military-inspired peacoats. Characterized by epaulettes and big, double-breasted brass buttons, pair a military coat with riding boots for a structured, polished look. Those shopping for a more timeless coat can skip the embellishments and go for a minimal, streamlined tailored wool coat in black or camel.

Add some structure to your look with Mango’s military coat.

Once you have your perfect coat, don’t forget about cold weather accessories — they’re an easy way to bring your outfit to the next level. Boots are always a stylish yet practical choice. Rubber rain boots, such as Hunter wellingtons, are popular and can be found in solid colours or fun patterns at all price points. As for other accessories, infinity scarves are still a big trend. Find one in a chunky knit for those really chilly days. For headwear, beanies and cloche hats are great for the transition into winter since they sit more snug on the head than hats with wider brims. And if you’re in the market for a new pair of gloves, try ones that incorporate capacitive threads into the tips — they’ll keep your fingers warm while still allowing you to use your touch screen devices.

Rubber boots: an essential for puddle jumping and heavy rain.

Last but not least, the one accessory you don’t want to leave at home considering this city’s fickle weather is an umbrella. I’m a fan of conventional stick umbrellas. They’re much sturdier and seem to come in more eclectic patterns than folding ones. So whether you’re going for cool, like an umbrella with a samurai sword handle, or trendy like a transparent dome one, find an umbrella that suits your personal style. It sets the final touch to your look and makes grey days a little brighter.

[Article first appeared in the Nov. 14 issue of Richmond Review.]

Go back to school in style

22 Aug

Summer is winding down, sadly, and before you know it, bells will ring to mark the start of the fall school semester. Whether you’ll be shopping for a student or are a student yourself, this back-to-school wardrobe shopping guide will help make the transition a little easier.

Back to basics

While clothes shopping for school, it’s essential to find comfortable separates that can be quickly mixed and matched for stylish ensembles. Basics such as solid coloured tees and sweaters, button-up dress shirts and denim are classic options and can be easily paired with trendier pieces for a more fashion forward look.

This Zara girls denim jacket is a perfect transition piece from summer to fall.

The item that should be in any student’s closet is a pair of jeans. Denim pants have become so ubiquitous on- and off-campus that entire wardrobes can be built around them. For girls, skinny jeans are still very much in style and are verging on classic status. Jeggings are also popular with their combination of a skinny fit and soft, flexible material. For boys, it’s all about straight leg jeans or a slim cut. Coloured denim is hot for all ages but can limit outfit options. To get the most use out of a pair of jeans, go for a darker rinse — they go well with everything and can even be worn to dressier events. For an alternative to jeans, try corduroy pants. Stores usually carry a wide assortment of fun fall colours; it’s also durable and perfect for active kids.

Bundle up with layers

Sweaters are another staple for back-to-school. Whether it’s a simple crew neck or a cardigan, there’s a sweater for every style and it makes a great layering piece for chilly classrooms. Try patterns such as stripes or argyle to add some panache to casual outfits. This is when tees come in handy for the cooler months. Wear them under itchy wool sweaters or pair a graphic tee with a cardigan or hoodie. Stores try to get rid of their short-sleeved tops in August to make space for fall items, so this is the perfect time to load up on T-shirts and tanks while they’re on sale.

A striped sweater, like this one from ASOS, makes for a practical and stylish layering basic.

For students starting post-secondary, the preppy collegiate look never goes out of style. Try pairing casual pants or jeans with blazers over a tee for a more polished look. For girls, finish off the outfit with flats or even boots if the weather is cool. The guys can complete their blazer ensemble with sneakers such as Chucks or Vans. I know fashion may fall to the wayside when you’re dealing with exams and getting to class on time, but starting a new semester also means making a lot of first impressions — on teachers and fellow students. Sweatpants may be comfortable but it’s just as easy to throw on some jeans.

Look classically polished on campus with a grey marled blazer from H&M.

Add some trends

Whether the student is in elementary school, high school or college, incorporating colour and prints into the school wardrobe will help brighten up dreary fall days. Neon’s been big this year and is surprising easy to wear in small doses. Include a splash of highlighter pink or DayGlo yellow to an otherwise neutral outfit. Accessories and sneakers are a simple and great way to add some bright colours and individualize your look.

Tangerine was the “It” colour of spring and summer, but for the fall the trend is blue — especially cobalt. Much easier to wear than tangerine, pair blue with black if you want to channel runway looks. The black and blue combo was spotted in a number of designer collections such as DKNY and Stella McCartney.

A pair of girls cobalt coloured jeans hits multiple trends at once. This pair is from Old Navy.

Most contemporary fashion stores have a kids’ line so shopping for younger ones is made simpler at all price points. Check out Joe Fresh, Old Navy, H&M or Zara, for example, and your child will be scoring aces for school style.

[Article first appeared in the Aug. 15 issue of Richmond Review.]