Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fall Fashion 2008: A Guided Tour!

The look of the season, from Chanel: 80's revival. Black, boxy and long on top, with a narrow perfect skirt.

I don’t exactly consider myself to be a fashion "insider". For one thing, I never buy fashion magazines, and I certainly can’t afford to buy the clothes I’d really like to wear. What I do enjoy is browsing the fancy shops and daydreaming. I do pay attention to street fashion and have many favorite fashion blogs/sites I like to peruse.

I definitely used to spend a lot more time and money on clothes, but now that home décor is my #1 love, who has time for clothes shopping? I now cobble together a simple wardrobe of affordable basics with only the occasional splurge. Still, I long to be fashionable again and wish I had the budget and the time (and perchance, the body) to really wear what I want to wear!

Since we’re travelling to Europe in September, I thought I really should catch up on the potential trends for Autumn/Winter 2008-09. Will black be in or out? Will pants still be narrow or will they finally loosen up? Should I buy eensy-teensy sunglasses, or will big ones still be kosher?

Band of Outsiders, narrow but not skinny pant (thank heaven!). A rare example of a short jacket: double-breasted to pay tribute to the 80's.

So, over the last few months I’ve been secretly studying the Fall and Winter “Ready-to-Wear” fashion show coverage on the wonderful British Vogue. And just for you, Dear Reader, I’ve compiled a list of my very own observations for Fall/Winter 2008-09.

Happily, nothing this Fall is too form-fitting. So no need to diet, especially if you have nice legs! Okay, so some designers showed close-fitting looks, but many showed loose, body-unconscious looks, especially on top (which looked utterly formless at many designers’ shows).

Skirts are narrow and fall either a little bit above (a lovely and tasteful length, in my opinion) or just below the knee (although Stella McCartney insisted on shorter ones). Skirts are sensible and sleek and this length is alluring without being vulgar. Tops and jackets, on the other hand, are large, loose and long. Dare I mention that shoulder pads have returned?
Black and big on top, from Chanel. Note the patterned stockings.

The “big” formless 80’s wool coat has returned for winter (think about the last time you saw Molly Ringwald). Gone are those wee bolero-esque jackets and bombers. Coats and jackets got so short, we knew this had to happen.

There are still some shorter and tailored jackets being shown, but the lengths have come way down.

A long tailored jacket, belted, from Chanel. Ubiquitous black. Nude hose.

In these body-conscious times, I just don’t see big, long jackets catching on again. Weren’t the 80’s bad enough? But for all the kids born in that decade and later, I guess this will be their first foray into Giant Jacket territory. And the time as come, because I've seen enough adolescent flesh for a while! A hideous greige sack coat, by Marc Jacobs. Most of us would look like a house boat in this.

A big black coat by Carolina Herrera. Note the pretty silky lining.

I also saw belts a-plenty, all belted right at the waist, which I think looks marvelous (mostly because I happen to possess an hourglass shape and consider my waist my best asset). Belts were neither too narrow nor too wide but “just right”. And they’re a nice way to harness those ridiculously huge coats.

A handsome couple in glorious Michael Kors: belted waist, longer skirt, and pointy toes. Big Wayfarer-esque shades. Loose coat, big glasses, and a great hat on him.
More Michael Kors: a belted sweater, a narrow skirt cut a little longer. Loose coat, sharp hat!Exquisite Michael Kors. I want this fur smock. Note the pointy shoe.
Always tasteful Dolce & Gabbana, belted waist, longer jacket, tailored pant and vest. Little lace-up booties.

Ignoring the above photo, pants generally seem to still be narrow but looser and no longer “skinny”, thank God. They are modestly higher-waisted (but not too high) and more unforgiving in the leg for those with non-alien body types. In fact, I predict this will be my favorite pants season in a long while. At least I can hope the skinny types don't keep insisting on wearing those wretched stovepipes.

On the colour front, Black is It, with a capital “I”. While I’ve shown other colours here, some designers showed whole collections of black, utterly formless clothing. This Fall, you will be safe doing head-to-toe black again. But, as in home décor, might I recommend varying your textures? With all this black, black, black, I imagine Spring will be a back-lash with a cacophony of colour. I predict a neon revival. You heard it here first, sisters.

I didn’t see many patterns…few plaids, which is odd for Autumn. I did see some colours, often weird indescribable ones. Over at Donna Karan there were some very hideous ones like electric mustard and rust, for lack of better descriptions. The models looked very, very sad.
A wickedly beautiful dress in a strange colour, from the darling Donna Karan.

For legs, there were lots of patterned black pantyhose and some fishnets.

In the shoe department, they showed lots of cool, pointy-toed, ankle-height, high-heeled gladiator boots (wide straps with some skin showing) and high-heeled ankle boots, some with laces and some not. I actually really like this "bootie" look, but find it works best if you have very thin, antelope-like legs (which I do not).

And thankfully, heels appear to have returned to this stratosphere, coming down from their perilous heights to still-high-but-more-sensible levels. I saw lots of pointy toes, and hurray for that, as it’s my favorite toe and looks polished and tailored, to me. To be honest, I didn’t investigate shoes much, since I will be walking 20 miles a day in Paris and will hence be wearing simple (yet stylish) runners or otherwise flat shoes.

So, in summary, the "bottom half" of bodies will look tailored and trim, while the top half will look like a garbage bag.

And before I forget, there's head-gear! A couple of designers showed marvelous hats. Carolina Herrera showed the most darling, covetous Robin Hood hats (below), with feathers on the sides. Utterly dashing!

Carolina Herrera, elegant country-wear. I adore (and want!) this Robin Hood hat.

Scary head bag, by a clearly deranged Marc Jacobs. Sorry, I don't know what else to call the head gear. Note the sack coat and booties.

In the eyewear department, Wayfarers are back, but they are big, in keeping with the current over-size trend. To me, this is a boring shape but is much better than those giant bug eye frames that eat faces. I predict a small and narrow frame revival soon.

Big shades with pointy tips, by Marc Jacobs. I love this outfit, which seems very old Armani to me.

Well, that’s it for my fashion foray. I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief departure and I promise I will be back to home décor and essays on my humble life, soon.


  1. I've enjoyed the runway with your commentary. I see NOTHING that would work for me. I do like black but not when it's It with a capital "I"...I'm in such a connundrum right now with fashion that I could jump off the nearest bridge...perhaps I could whip up some little number...hmmm...

  2. emily8:28 pm

    that headback looks great! maybe for winter? ;)

  3. Hi Terri!

    I will show u more from my jewellerys soon, I am now taking in summer as much as i can, and i am on a smaller vacation break in a close town.

    many hugs

  4. Anonymous10:09 pm

    I was trying to get an idea of fashion for this fall and I must say I definitely felt educated and entertained by your desciptions, thanks for the heads up!

  5. Hey I really loved this post. I am going school shopping soon, I hope. but none of the baggy styles work for me, cuz I am short. And I'm not a big fan of tights either.

  6. Anonymous9:59 am

    Thank you so much for your observations. Since I am out of money, it's convenient that most of my wardrobe is black already. Time to hem my long skirts!