Tag Archives: Leather

Fall 2012 fashion trends

20 Sep

Pack away the pastels and summer basics — this season is all about embracing darker tones and lavish textures. From gothic leather and Shakespearean baroque pieces, to a revival of military detailing, this year’s fall trends will have something for every style.

A cobalt dress from the Stella McCartney fall/winter 2012 show.

Colours

Orange was a big colour trend earlier this year, but the cooler months will see an influx of vivid blues and reds in stores. Usually paired with black, blues were dominant on fall runways at the collections of DKNY and Stella McCartney. Cobalt, in particular, was a designer favourite. Easy to wear, blue tones also look great paired with silver for a chic, modern look. Reds were also a standout colour in the fall collections. From deep burgundy to bright scarlet, try incorporating this trend with a bold red coat or dress to add some flair to cold grey days. For dressier ensembles, go for the gold — a slew of metallic gold dresses were spotted at Elie Saab and Michael Kors. For the day-to-day, limit gold to accent pieces such as belts, bracelets, coat trimming or small detailing on a blouse. For celebratory soirees, take the look to full items and dazzle in a gold sequined jacket or skirt.

Oxblood, a deep red, is another hot colour for fall. Find this dress with an embellished collar at H&M.

Fabrics

In terms of texture, leather is always huge for fall. Whether it was because of the popularity of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or just a general moodiness in culture around the time designers were creating their collections, the tone translated into gothic leather pieces such as matte trench coats and embossed dresses. A highlight of the Proenza Schouler and Givenchy shows, leather has the capacity to be classic and rebellious depending on the fit, style and texture. Another trend similar to leather is the fascination with PVC and other waxy material. Channel Fendi’s futuristic take on PVC with a shiny black skirt made from the plastic textile.

With its leather pants and black/blue combo, this ensemble from BCBG hits a few trends at once.

For a more romantic and soft fall texture trend, look no further than velvet. The lustrous fabric is not just for holidays and kids under ten anymore, as evident on the runways of Gucci and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Try a velvet blazer in a jewel tone for a luxe look or a structured dress for that extra indulgence. Fur is always a big trend for autumn but this year, the material is kept more for small accents than a coat made completely of pelts. Whether you want to follow this trend with faux or authentic fur, find items such as a top with fur collar trim or a skirt with fur panelling.

Styles

Military styling seems to return every few seasons and it’s back again this fall. Structured army jackets were prominent at Jason Wu and Tommy Hilfiger. Look for tops and coats with epaulettes, pockets and round, gold buttons. Baroque and Shakespearean influences were also featured heavily in the collections. Try this renaissance trend by sporting opulent pieces with heavy embellishments and intricate designs. Brocade, through the use of gold and metallic threads, is also characteristic of baroque style.

A military-inspired coat from Zara.

Pantsuits are another popular choice for this season. Go sleek and polished with a suit in a solid colour or, for the more adventurous, with matching patterns. Prada and Louis Vuitton both sent models down the runway with printed pantsuits. Try a jacket and pant combo in matching florals, tartans or checks. Oversized silhouettes, especially for coats, are also trendy. Look for roomy, slightly baggy coats that drape away from the body. Another trend that falls in line with the oversized look is exaggerated hips. Peplum is continuing strong from spring and summer, but for the daring there are dresses and tops with panniers — extra fabric that extends from the hips to give it extra oomph.

Whatever style you’re drawn to, update your wardrobe with a few of this season’s trends. Fall and winter is always a fun time to play with fashion.

[Article first appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of Richmond Review.]

Walk, walk, fashion baby: The relationship between fashion and music

8 Mar

Whether it’s models dating musicians, designers creating costumes for band tours, or even singers turned fashion designers, music and fashion are intimately linked. A lyric from one of my favourite bands, Pulp, goes “If fashion is your trade, then when you’re naked I guess you must be unemployed, yeah?” Not only is it witty but I think it also demonstrates how the idea of fashion finds its way into music content. More examples of this two-way influence can be observed throughout the past.

Blue suede shoes

As rock ‘n’ roll popularity increased in the 1950s with acts such as Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, styles also changed to correspond with the rebellious attitude of the period.

Movie characters such as Marlon Brando in The Wild One and James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause exemplified the transformation in style. Outfits incorporating black leather, casual t-shirts and jeans became the norm for the younger generation.

Marlon Brando in The Wild One

Fashion journalist Kate Mulvey said, “For the first time, nonconformity was shown by dressing down. Rebelling against prosperous society in the 1950s meant going a step down the socio-economic ladder, and wearing working class clothes to give authenticity to what they were trying to say. Young people didn’t want to identify with the straight laced, responsible attitudes of their fathers and so dressed like a youthful version of the working man.”

Ticket to ride

As the mod subculture hit its peak in the mid 1960s, British pop music was dominating the airwaves and teenagers were spending the majority of their money on records and clothes. Young men were greatly influenced by the hairstyles and outfits of The Beatles and the women were opting for shorter hemlines. The attention to Britain extended to London fashion designer Mary Quant – the creator of the mini-skirt.

Mary Quant (right) with models in her designs

“The excitement of London life was brilliantly conveyed by the new breed of street-wise fashion photographers like David Bailey and Terrence Donovan. They were at the centre of the London scene and were up to date on fashion trends and social changes, which they captured in their distinctive fashion photographs.” – Marc Kitchen-Smith, style author.

Hippies and glam rockers

As 1969 rolled around and the Woodstock music festival took over a farm in New York, the fashions had turned to colourful patterns, vests, peasant tops and full, long skirts. Musicians such as Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix took to the stage in hippie attire. And over the pond, Italian designer Emilio Pucci reinforced the trend of vivid patterns with his own trademark geometric print.

Guitarist Jimi Hendrix

With the development of glam rock in the early 1970s, fashion took a turn for the androgynous as musicians such as Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury and David Bowie took over the spotlight. The glam rock aesthetic mostly involved platform-soled boots, caberet-inspired styles and lots and lots of glitter and makeup.

David Bowie as his alter ego Ziggy Stardust

Clampdown

The late 1970s saw a revival of the leather jacket through the punk movement. Bands such as The Clash and The Ramones popularized trends of metal studs, Doc Martens, black leather jackets and bondage pants. Fashion designers Vivienne Westwood and Jean-Paul Gaultier also based their collections on punk culture. Former manager of the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaren, also capitalized on the look by opening a shop catering to punk fashions.

London punk band The Clash

“Punks were anti-fashion motivated, and strived to create their own unique outfits, avoiding mainstream trends which were considered bourgeois, over-indulgent and bland. [But] fashion designers created their own punk-inspired collections, which ultimately became mainstream fashions themselves.” – Melissa Richards, fashion historian.

Check yo self before you wreck yo self

Hip-hop hit the mainstream in the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, bringing along with it a rise in sportswear, baggy jeans, tracksuits and Timberland boots. Accessories such as heavy gold jewelry and baseball caps also corresponded with what hip-hop musicians were wearing. But I think the biggest influence hip-hop had on fashion was the through the popularity of sneakers.

A collection of kicks

“[Hip-hop musicians] even wore their trainers differently; street styled with laces undone and logoed tongues on show. All of this pushed the sports brands to further develop their styling to incorporate some of street style customizations into new products that featured fatter laces, higher tops and bolder logos.” – Emily Evans, fashion writer.

Dress up in you

As for my musical fashion icon, I’m partial to Alison Mosshart from The Kills and The Dead Weather. Her style may not be extraordinary but it mirrors my own casual outfits on days when I don’t feel like dressing up.

Alison Mosshart

Plus she’s bad-ass in this video with Jack White:

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ bedazzled jacket from the Zero video also still stands out in my mind.

Modern girls and old fashion men

The Strokes also had a big influence on my style. They came onto the scene in 2000, dressed in ratty Converse Chuck Taylors paired with skinny jeans – a combination I would emulate throughout my university years.

The Strokes showing off their footwear

I love how they change it up for their new music video, Under Cover of Darkness. Four of the band members play their latest single in suits while lead singer Julian Casablancas hangs around in a leather jacket getup until he changes for the last third of the video.