Fall favorites


POSTED: Thursday, August 06, 2009

The economy has had a sobering effect on fashion, with a wave of designers going back to basics and their clienteles following suit, carefully scrutinizing each purchase to ensure viability over successive seasons.

So it's no wonder fall is coming on strong with classic patterns and colors, and bold, clean lines that veer from the youth-obsessed look of past seasons. Tough times, it seems, demand a show of strength, and clothing is tasked with doing the job of commanding respect.

The show of strength starts with proportions in female garments that have changed to suggest the re-arrival of a woman warrior who means business. New garments accentuate shoulders that can carry the weight of two, maybe three fallen comrades in the workplace. The new shoulder is more sculptural than campy a la 1980s “;Dynasty”; days.

To balance the shoulders, the silhouette tapers to a “;V”; proportion, which means it's also cool — not house frau schlubby — to wear leggings again.

These trends were revealed during a mini fashion preview that took place at Neiman Marcus last Thursday.

Although it seems too hot out to be thinking about fall's arrival, it always pays to think ahead and plan your wardrobe. For one thing, it helps to head into the summer sales knowing what will work into the next season. If cash is tight, it's even more important to have a game plan, taking into consideration versatility, timeliness and pieces that will boost your image rather than hinder it.





Place: Neiman Marcus


Admission: Free


When: Store hours on following dates


The schedule:


» Monday: Nancy Gonzales trunk show of exotic handbags, in Designer Handbags, Level One


» Aug. 13 to 15: Piaget trunk show of red-carpet diamonds and watches, in Precious Jewels Salon, Level One


» Aug. 13 to 16 and Aug. 20 to 23: Trend Weekend events with informal modeling and gifts with purchase of $350 or more in women's apparel, accessories, jewelry or beauty.


» Aug. 14 and 15: Dolce & Gabbana fall trunk show in Designer Sportswear, Level Two


» Aug. 21 and 22: Giorgio Armani fall trunk show in Designer Sportswear, Level Two


Here are the key trends spotted by NM's tastemakers (see photos):

1. Red: Dramatic, bold, strong, classic, chic, vivacious are some of the strengths reflected in this color, which shows up in suits and evening wear. It's a color that commands attention anywhere you go. The color can be mixed in its many tones, from bright poppy to deep Bordeaux.

2. Shoulder accents: The padding, pagoda-style, origami folds or contrasting fabric used to emphasize the shoulders also help create the illusion of a narrow waist, and who doesn't want that?

3. Skinny leg: Whether you achieve the look with leggings, jeans or pencil skirts, the new silhouette is lean, edgy and modern. The narrow base is necessary to balance the return of the strong shoulder.

4. Seeing spots: The return of animal prints signals the return of the mantra, “;I am woman, hear me roar.”; Leopard, in particular, is showing its spots all over jackets, shoes and handbags.

5. Glam shine: This season marks the return of gold, as well as reflective effects via jewelry or metallic studs on accessories. Shoes catch the eye with a glint of metallic shine.

6. Motorcycle jacket: Adding to the show of strength is the presence of the biker chic motorcycle jacket, which also ties in to the skinny-leg look.