1. OPULENT EMBELLISHMENTS
Fall fashion always has a richness about it--deep colors, plush fabrics--but this fall, things are amped up a notch or 10. Marc Jacobs set bar high with his collection in New York, featuring luxe brocades, beading, and rhinestone shoe buckles. Then designers in Milan (Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, Prada) and Paris (Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Lanvin) followed suit, embellishing everything in sight. Think beadazzled buttons, giant faux gems, brooches, studs, embroidery, and piles of blingy baubles.
|Marc Jacobs Fall 2012, 1. J. Crew beaded sweater, 2. Zara gloves, 3. Zara collar, 4. Zara belt, 5. Topshop metallic jacquard skirt, 6. ASOS jeweled bag, 7. Topshop brocade tights, 8. Miu Miu studded shoes, 9. Kenneth Jay Lane Swarovski clip earrings|
2. THE DOCTOR'S BAG
The doctor is in! This structured top-handle bag was all over fall runways. Serious and grown-up, this bag is perfect for toting to and from the office.
|Louis Vuitton, Alexander Wang, and Prada Fall 2012 runway bags; 1. See by Chloe Albane satchel, 2. Zara antik leather bag, 3. Kate Spade Brighton Park Sloan, 4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Thunderdome bag, 5. Brahmin Everett satchel, 6. Zara rigid bag|
3. THE PRINTED PANT SUIT
There were plenty of power suits on fall runways, but it was the matchy-matchy printed suits that made the biggest splash. Prada and Miu Miu were at the head of the pack with loud, 70s-patterned suits. The coordinating blazer and pants combo makes you look instantly pulled together, and you have the added bonus of being able to mix and match with other pieces for a more toned-down look.
|Prada Fall 2012, 1. J. Crew top, 2. J. Crew cafe capri, 3. Warehouse blazer, 4. Warehouse trousers, 5. Mango blazer, 6. Mango trousers|
4. THE OVERSIZED COAT
As much as I appreciate a flattering fitted coat, the overcoat is a necessary closet staple for layering over blazers and chunky sweaters when it's freezing out. Fall's runways showcased a plethora of options, from the minimalist coats at Jil Sander, to the boxy coats at Stella McCartney, to the colorblocked coats at Celine. Most memorable were Rei Kawakubo's enormous "flat" coats at Comme des Garçons. This coat is not just about cold weather practicality; it's about pushing proportions. I love the Comme des Garçons silhouette, so I'll be pairing mine with tights and brogues, for a thoroughly modern look.
|Comme des Garçons Fall 2012, 1. Topshop neoprene coat, 2. Reiss relaxed coat, 3. Reiss Lillyanne coat, 4. Acne Sasha coat, 5. Diane von Furstenberg Laurel coat|
5. DARK & VAMPY
After being bombarded with color and print for several seasons, it felt good to see plain old black making a comeback on the runways. And I'm not just talking about a black accent here or there--on Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Versace, nearly every ensemble was head-to-toe black, some styled with a dark lip for an extra vampy feel. The look is more ladylike than goth--a bit of lace or sheer silk keeps things light and feminine.
|Bottega Veneta Fall 2012, 1. Givenchy pearl tusk earring, 2. J. Crew stole, 3. Juicy Couture pendant necklace, 4. Tom Ford Black Orchid lipstick, 5. Zara embroidered bag, 6. Topshop skirt, 7. Topshop velvet bodysuit, 8. Aquazzara cutout shoes, 9. Rachel Zoe gloves|
6. COWBOY BOOTS
Oh, the power of Isabel Marant. Despite being the ONLY designer to feature Western-inspired fashion this season (that I'm aware of), cowboy boots have been popping up everywhere--from street style to every major retailer. My favorite iteration of the Western trend is the stiletto ankle boot/ cowboy boot hybrid. Perfectly on-trend without looking costumey.
|Isabel Marant Fall 2012 boots and shoes, 1. Zara boots with insets, 2. Frye Deborah boots, 3. Madison Harding Miller boots, 4. Zara studded boots, 5. Jean-Michel Cazabat Paige boots, 6. See by Chloe boots, 7. Zara boots|
7. THE FANCY SWEATSHIRT
No longer that item that you throw on to go to the gym, the classic pullover sweatshirt has gotten fancy. Sweatshirts now come in prints, with embellishment, leather sleeves, and any other upgrade imaginable. Pair one with a leather pencil skirt, and you've got a quirky-cool ensemble that will transition from day to night.
|Celine Fall 2012, 1. ASOS check sweatshirt, 2. J. Crew jeweled sweatshirt, 3. ASOS panel sweatshirt, 4. Topshop beaded sweatshirt, 5. Karl PVC-sleeve sweatshirt, 6. Mango floral sweatshirt|
This is the ultimate tough girl's wardrobe. Alexander Wang, Givenchy, and DKNY (to name a few) showcased head-to-toe leather looks on their runways. Pretty much anything goes with trend, but I am particularly fond of the unconventional takes on leather--the tank, t-shirt, or collar.
|Givenchy Fall 2012, 1. All Saints leather tank, 2. Cynthia Rowley leather dress, 3. 3.1 Phillip Lim leather collar, 4. Mango leather smoking blazer, 5. 3.1 Phillip Lim leather skirt, 6. Zara wedge boots, 7. Robert Rodriguez patent belt, 8. Mango leather mini skirt|
9. WHITE ON CREAM
Remember that moment when you realized that black and brown actually can be worn together? And look good? This same "aha" moment occurred when I saw the oh-so-cool cream/white color combos on the fall runways. White in the fall just feels so bold...so imagine white + cream?! This opens a whole new world of possibilities.
|Reed Krakoff Fall 2012, 1. Mango double layer top, 2. Marc by Marc Jacobs satchel, 3. Marc by Marc Jacobs logo watch, 4. Topshop biker coat, 5. Mango trousers, 6. See by Chloe booties, 7. Diane von Furstenberg Haley belt|
Does this trend ever really go out of style? All trends are cyclical, but military influenced fashion seems to work it's way back into circulation more often than most. This season, Victoria Beckham showed smart fitted dresses with military accents, McQ showed tailored army coats and lace-up combat boots, and Max Mara showed olive drab separates. Try refreshing your wardrobe this season with a brass buttoned item, or a pop of camo.
|MaxMara Fall 2012, 1. Topshop coat, 2. Zara studded belt, 3. Marc by Marc Jacobs aviator sunglasses, 4. Zara camo trousers, 5. All Saints buckle boot, 6. Alexander Wang Emile satchel, 7. Mango military shirt, 8. Mango blazer|
11. THE CHUNKY POINTY TOE PUMP
The ladylike pointy-toe pump that's been making a comeback is getting a makeover for fall. Designers modernized the staple on fall runways by adding a platform, or blocky heel, giving the shoe an architectural edge. Phoebe Philo's white pump/wedge hybrid at Celine was a favorite of mine.
|T to B: Celine, Stella McCartney, & Celine shoes. 1. Zara platform pump, 2. 3.1 Phillip Lim Peggy boot, 3. 3.1 Phillip Lim Kadie pump, 4. Zara wedge pump, 5. Topshop Afly croc boot|
12. FIT & FLARE
Fit and flare, ruffle hem, or fluted--whatever you want to call it, there is a new silhouette in town. This sassy little number cropped up on several runways, most notably on Stella McCartney's, in the form of a wool and satin pieced dress. This shape is just so darn cute--a must-have for fall.
|Stella McCartney Fall 2012, 1. DKNY skirt, 2. DKNY dress, 3. Twenty8Twelve Melody dress, 4. 10 Crosby Derek Lam skirt, 5. Reiss Eos dress, 6. Topshop dress|