A famous African proverb says that it takes a village to raise a child, and here at Who What Wear, we think the same thing could be easily declared of trends. After all, a fashion-forward item must pass through the hands and eyes of designers, stylists, editors, celebrities, and tastemakers before, say, a leopard-print accent truly bears a stamp of must-have approval. Yet as often is the case with group efforts, some of the most important saints of style--the buyers--routinely go unsung. As the gatekeepers between the brands and consumers, these highly influential people are responsible for knowing what pieces you're going to want to wear months before you do and ensuring that the right looks are in stock when you are ready to shop. They have early and thorough access to all of the products that will be available each season, which means they're also powerful forces for dictating trends. (Think about it: can a trend really blow up if no one can purchase the necessary pieces for said look? Not really.) Additionally, these chic workhorses are constantly on-the-go: meeting with brands, scouting out new talent, and taking copious notes at every show. Accordingly, we've asked a handful of buyers from four of our favorite online shopping destinations to share what they think we need in our closets for Resort 2011. Packed with pieces poised to both freshen up your fall wardrobe and serve as a precursor for all the fun to come this spring, these e-commerce leaders' top picks are not to be missed! Thus, without further ado, we bring you what the buyers are, well, buying and hope that you are just as inspired as we are to get a jump-start on warm-weather wear!
Holli Rogers / Net-a-Porter's Buying Director
Proenza Schouler PS1 Small Suede Satchel ($1225)
We're longtime fans of Proenza Schouler's iconic PS1 handbags, so this new iteration in tobacco suede has us--and Rogers--duly thrilled. "I expect to wear this perfect day bag every time I head out of the house ready for adventure," Rogers says. We'll be sure to look for it slung across her shoulder, accenting minimalist basics and exotic prints, come New York Fashion Week!
Lanvin Gourmet Chain Link Bracelet ($585)
"From a fitted white shirt to a tee and jeans, a bold bracelet like this can transform any outfit," says Rogers and we can't help but agree! The mixed metals allow this investment piece to seamlessly coordinate with any ensemble, while the dazzling rhinestones and classic chain-link style will immediately upgrade even the most basic look.
Erdem Chie Printed Silk-Satin Maxi Skirt ($1250)
This gorgeous kaleidoscopic maxi skirt combines two of spring's biggest trends: a floor-grazing hemline and a digitally abstract floral print, making it pretty much the perfect purchase. Rogers suggests wearing this striking Net-a-Porter-exclusive piece with a slouchy gray sweater now and a luxe white t-shirt as the weather turns warmer. We could also imagine it dressed up with chandelier earrings and strappy heels for a daytime wedding outfit.
Lisa Gardener / MyTheresa's Editor-in-Chief
Proenza Schouler Patterned Dress ($1033)
Proenza Schouler can always be counted on for the coolest pieces and collections that are the perfect blend of "bohemian luxe meets downtown hip," Gardner says, and this patterned dress is the ideal example of the brand's desirable aesthetic. "Wear it now with your favorite chunky knits," she says. "Then toughen up the look with a metal-detail belt and an edgy flat for spring!" Perfect advice indeed!
Stella McCartney Falabella Chain-Link Tote ($1068)
One of the things we love about Stella McCartney is her ability to whip up super stylish accessories that are always eco-chic and vegan-friendly. This season, she's done it again with this black woven and metallic tote that Gardener says has the "perfect off-duty-model attitude." The chain detailing toughens up the slouchy woven shape, while the charcoal gray hue is an unexpected neutral that will work with any outfit.
Yves Saint Laurent Palais 105 Peep-Toe Pumps ($705)
"Tan and chestnut may have been the investment accessories for fall, but now it's time to go bold and bright," Gardener says. Accordingly, she selected these fire engine red pumps, which are right in line with spring's bold color trend. In the meantime, she'll be wearing them with black cigarette pants and a nude blouse to punch up her winter wear.
Bridget Cosgrave / Matches Fashion's Buying Director
Stella McCartney Botanical Dress ($1519)
We've been seeing bold botanical-print dresses popping up on some of our favorite tastemakers and know that this is definitely a trend to watch. Accordingly, we were thrilled that Cosgrave picked this shift dress with a delightfully whimsical floral pattern. Cosgrave recommends teaming this perfect summer piece "with a high-heeled espadrille from YSL and a brushed gold Heidi Klein cuff" for a fresh and fabulous look.
Yves Saint Laurent Muse 2 Tote Bag ($1310)
Ladylike satchels are one of our favorite handbag trends, so when Cosgrave mentioned this Yves Saint Laurent tote we were duly thrilled. The navy hue is uber chic, while the contrasting white canvas lining is a lovely detail that's ideal for spring. Use this exclusive Matches handbag to add polish and enhance your daytime outfit; it's perfect for elevating everything from a neutral summer dress to a simple tee and jeans.
Yves Saint Laurent Gipsy Sandals ($876)
These raffia sandals definitely have it-shoe power, making them absolutely worth the investment and then some! The woven bottom and color blocking render them perfectly on-trend, while the strappy top half adds a dose of sex appeal. Wear them now with rolled khakis and a silky blouse, and then use them to punctuate all your diaphanous dresses when summer kicks in.
Kate Ciepluch / Shopbop's Fashion Director
Patterson J. Kincaid Melinda Striped Cropped Sweater ($158)
Ciepluch feels that a nautical sweater is a closet staple, and we couldn't agree more--bateau stripes are the perfect way to integrate some effortless cool into your look. While you're sure to get tons of everyday outfit mileage out of this navy and crème pullover, Ciepluch suggests pairing it with "denim cut-offs and a tiny bit of tummy showing" for a sultry summer look.
KORS Michael Kors Vena Wedge Booties ($275)
This slip-on boot strikes the ideal balance between comfort and style, and Ciepluch finds the contrast between the taupe leather and the wood wedge both striking and uber chic. "I will wear these now with my true blue Ksubi skinnies and a chunky turtleneck," she says. "Then when the weather warms up, I will wear them with a tailored white short."
Matthew Williamson Escape Twisted Bandeau Bikini ($295)
A bikini is always a must-have for that mid-winter getaway, and Ciepluch loves this one for its "pretty pale print and desert horizon color palette." Additionally, the ruched bandeau top is a nice alternative to a standard triangle shape, enabling you to expand your repertoire when it comes to swimsuit silhouettes.--Liza Kaplan