Tag Archives: peplum

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.


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.


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.


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.]


Sizzle with summer style: Dressing for weddings, grads and parties

23 May

The days are longer, the smell of barbecue is in the air and everyone is thinking about their next vacation — the summer party season is officially upon us. Whether you’ll be attending a wedding, graduation ceremony or just a general celebratory event, summer parties are the perfect occasion to ditch the rubber flip flops and jeans, and play a little dress-up. There’s guaranteed to be a bunch of photographs taken during weddings and grads, so it’s crucial to look your finest while remaining comfortable enough to enjoy the festivities.

Add some romance with a vintage-inspired floral dress from Ruche.

When finding an outfit for weddings, the most important rule is to not outshine the bride and groom. There’s the obvious tip about avoiding white dresses, but also take into consideration the couple’s culture. For example, Chinese weddings are big on the colours red and gold since they represent luck. The more modern brides will be fine with any colour, but their elders might disapprove of a little black dress since the dark colour marks somber occasions.

Comfortable and trendy, this French Connection maxi dress can go from a beach to a wedding.

Other factors to consider while deciding on a look for any summer celebration include the weather, location, time and activities. Weddings taking place on a beach or garden are usually more casual than those at a traditional venue. Go for flowy dresses with flat sandals. Keep the stilettos at home since they’ll be difficult to walk over sand or a lawn; opt for wedge shoes if you really want height. If you’re unsure how formal the event will be, a good indicator would be the invitation. If your invite came in the form of an ornate embossed card, it’s a good idea to dress more formally than if the invite was more on the rustic and simple side. Evening events are also fancier than daytime ones. If a dance floor is involved, try a less restrictive dress and comfy shoes such as flats or platform heels. Strapless dresses are also fantastic for the summer but consider using double-sided (or fashion) tape if you think you’ll be dancing a lot.

A little colour-blocking mixed with art deco, this BCBG dress is sure to turn heads.

For those participating in a graduation ceremony, pair your convocation gown with understated elegant shoes such as short pumps or flats. You want to keep the attention on you, not your shoes, as you cross the stage to collect your diploma. Also avoid full skirts or ones with extra long hems as they create odd silhouettes with the graduation gown.

There are a lot of options for summer party outfits, from trendy to classic. If you want to incorporate trends into your look, go for the four P’s. The most popular ones are pastels, peplum, prim, prints and 1920s — they were all big on the runways for spring and summer. Try a pale yellow shift dress if you like the pastel and prim trends, or a drop-waist embellished dress for a Great Gatsby or Downton Abbey 1920s look. Maxi dresses are a safe bet for any occasion since they’re a blend of casual and formal. If dresses aren’t your thing, pantsuits can work for formal events and are available in a wide variety of bold colours for the warmer months. Printed skinny pants are also in for the season and can easily be paired up with a solid blouse for a chic look.

Pair this Zara jumpsuit with fun accessories and heels and it would be perfect for chic summer parties.

Don’t forget your accessories to glam up even the simplest of outfits — especially hats and sunglasses since summer events usually take advantage of the nice weather and are held outside on patios or in backyards. Bring along a cardigan or shawl in a fun complementary colour for when the temperature drops at night and, most importantly, remember to use sunscreen!

[Article first appeared in the May 16 issue of Richmond Review.]