Fall or at least pre-fall collections are starting to debut in shops all over and it's hard not to get into a tizzy with the promise of new clothes, new styles and new trends to drool over.
Dear reader, if you have accumulated a sizeable stash over summer (like me!), fret not. As I have mentioned in my earlier posts and which I shall reiterate, fashion cycles are getting shorter. Stash the trendy items that you really love in your wardrobe for now and pray that they will be trendy again.
Remember the military trend of 2003? Well it's back again this time for F/W 2005. Granted, the army green may have been traded in for navy wool and shiny brass buttons, a la The Admiral, but the epaulettes and military embellishments still abound.
First seen in its Riviera chic incarnation in resort collections this year, it was later given a seaworthy spin by Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga's S/S 05 collection.
Balenciaga S/S 2005 - from Balenciaga.com
These pieces have since then been given a high Parisian polish for F/W, with more intricate details being worked in, as well as the emergence of a stronger silhouette, a drastic departure from the relaxed form for spring.
Balenciaga F/W 2005 - from Balenciaga.com
The most iconic piece of this trend is probably epitomized in this Jean Paul Gaultier jacket for his F/W 05 collection:
Jean Paul Gaultier nautical jacket, F/W 2005 - style.com
This is an extremely workable trend for night - nothing adds panache to an ensemble like a well-cut jacket. Unfortunately, this may be a hard style to carry off during the day. For a more casual touch, I can see navy pants and stripy tops from the summer being worn past fall. Remember however that this is sailor chic, so while navy wool and brass buttons will work, camouflage stripes will just look dated. It is even possible to pair the voluminous skirts seen in summer with a structured nautical jacket for Fall.
As for the floaty chiffon dresses seen all to often in summer, these can be easily translated into a stunning fall ensemble. The sheerness of the fabric can in fact balance out the heavier textures and fabric used for fall. Dresses like these are the most versatile; it can layered with scarves, worn with a trench/blazer or with boots or heels.
Chloe S/S 2005 - style.com
I am especially fond of this look which was seen on the Chloe' runway for S/S2005. It is a prime example of how with a little flair and creativity, we are still about to wear our summer pieces well into fall.
White dresses were very popular this season due to the boho trend and nothing provides a better canvas for the jeweled tones of Fall than white. If you are a great fan of vintage, especially of pieces from the Victorian/Edwardian era, rejoice for this is one trend that is rapidly heating up for Fall. With the appropriate accessories, I believe that certain dresses can even be transformed into Victoriana ensembles, which is another popular Fall style to watch.
Some of my favourite pieces on the runway are :
Chloe F/W 05 ;pictures from style.com
The silhouette of the above pieces look decidly Edwardian
Heavier Victorian influences here:
Chloe F/W 05 ;pictures from style.com
While I personally hate to see this being done to death for Fall much like the bohemian trend, there is no denying the strong presence of the romantic novel blouse/dress seen on several runway collections for Fall. As with all trends, never wear this head-to-toe, Victoriana looks best when there is one iconic piece in the entire outfit. The best example that I can think of is to wear the romantic blouse with cigarette pants or skinny jeans. This image has been seared into my mind ever since I came across this picture below in an editorial of Vogue July 05.
Gucci F/W 05 - reproduced from Vogue USA July 2005.
High street stores like Zara have already debuted an interesting Victoriana collection for Fall and I have already picked up several pieces (to add on to my vintage collection) with interesting trimmings like lace, beads and pompoms.
A popular colour for Fall, which might have come about due to the strong nautical vibe this coming F/W, is a deep rich royal blue. This hue is seen in several pieces from the fashion houses – it is one of colours seen in the palette of offerings from Balenciages for their famed classique bags, produced in several colours of the rainbow. Gucci has brought back their horsebit hobo in a gorgeous blue for their new Guccissima leather collection, while the paddington from Chloe’ has been reinvented in a jewel blue tone as well. Lanvin has debuted its new line up of flats for Fall and there is a particular loafer style done in rich blue velvet that is so pretty – I have become the proud owner of a pair!
Pretty in blue, those bags get a new coat of paint - from left: Chloe' Paddington (chloe.com); Gucci Guccissima horsebit hobo (nm.com)
It is easier to wear a piece from summer to fall, rather than vice-versa, simply because it gets too hot. I realize that for fall, I tend to concentrate more on accessories like bags and shoes and spend less on clothes. The sumptuousness of Fall fabrics makes it a little harder to wear them past winter, while layering can really stretch the versatility of summer pieces. Similarly, I believe that the line between summer clothing and fall clothing is rapidly blurring. I think it is great fun and a test of style to transition pieces from one season to another. Some things are obvious – no ruffled minis in Fall (I never understood why these were still around anyway, particularly on tweens in LA – wasn’t this suppose to die out last year?), but other pieces can be extremely versatile and worn season after season, like jeans or cropped jackets.
As always, be aware of yourself, build up your own style and recognise what works for you and what doesn't. With better self-assurance, you will be able to sieve through the new Fall trends and re-interpret them equally well with existing pieces in your wardrobe!