By our calculations, autumn unofficially starts in approximately seven weeks, and that means two things. First of all, we need to wear our white blazers more before it's too late, and second (and more importantly), it's time for the Fall 08 Preview! Whenever we put together our biannual sneak-peek stories, we get a little giddy over all the fresh new styles, but this fall is particularly thrilling. Please immerse yourself in our fantasy list of top trends and looks we love, and get ready for another excellent season!
Maybe it's the global warming or perhaps designers are just messing with seasonal tradition, either way, this fall you should be prepared to welcome an autumnal garden into your wardrobe. Spring's pattern craze has streamlined a bit and now the focus will definitely (and somewhat unexpectedly) be on floral prints. We loved the retro vibe of the oversized posies at Thakoon and Derek Lam, while the photo-quality blooms at Erin Fetherston were stunning too. Another reason we're welcoming this trend: recycling. True, not all of your existing spring florals will transition into fall, but surely some of them might be appropriate with tights and a cardi, no?
Dear readers, we would like to cordially invite you to join our chain gang. If you accept our offer, you may enjoy the some of the best fall accessories around, like the gold chain cascade of necklaces at Givenchy and Chanel's long lambskin gloves with chain details. If you're into this style but want something a little less intense, try the chain necklace from 3.1 Phillip Lim or Maison Martin Margiela's Short Waterfall Necklace ($275). Also, we encourage you to explore your inner gypsy and wrap some thin chain belts around your hips for a Gucci runway effect.
Ultra slim jeans and black latex-ish leggings have been popular for ages now, and while the completely lean look is cool, we're personally digging the slouchy trouser. We like the wide-leg versions balanced with a feminine top, as seen at Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler. If the full-leg slouch slack is too far from your beloved skinnies, you'll probably prefer the excellent variation Isabel Marant offered for fall. They're boyishly relaxed at the waist/thigh and taper tightly to the ankle for a tulip-style silhouette.
We're thrilled about the return of the strong shoulder as seen at Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, and Jean Paul Gaultier, to name a bunch. The look got kick-started in spring with the pagoda-style shoulders at YSL, but it's nice that we have so many more power shoulder options for fall. If you're wary of looking too Baby Boom, just remember that now it's a much more architectural shoulder then the bulky eighties version. Also, a slightly exaggerated shoulder looks particularly amazing with a slim or nipped in waist; it's a traditionally masculine look that actually can make one look very feminine!
Tights trends continue to evolve and this season they're making more of statement than ever. You'll continue to see lots of bright solids (red, in particular) but our favorites are the many styles of patterned tights. We're swooning over the intricate black Lace Tights ($250) from the Chanel runway and Chloe's beautiful Patterned Tights ($150). The latter will arrive in Chloe boutiques by early September and also will be available at Net-A-Porter. They are offered in four colors: spark (dark red), raspberry, bilberries (dark purple), and gray. The unique and varied tights shown at Anna Sui were also excellent and they're already in stores! Check out the Swirling Rosettes tights ($30), Coptic Print tights ($22), and Abstract Waves tights ($22) at your closest Anna Sui boutique. If you don't live by one, or can't wait until the Chanel and Chloe versions arrive in stores, you can satisfy your cravings for fancy stockings by picking up some of Free People's Creeping Flowers Crochet Tights ($34) online today.
We'll admit it: there is a part of us that is hesitant to call out fall's over-the-knee boots as one of the big trends. Having lived through the nineties, we saw how people styled their thigh-high hooker boots and barely lived to tell about it (clearly this is not the look we're talking about). However, there were so many exceptionally cool versions on the runways we just can't ignore them. Gucci's Devendra Boots ($1995) with tassels are mouth-wateringly good and we certainly wouldn't turn down a pair of Lanvin's Over-The-Knee Flat Boots ($1440) or the very Carine Roitfeldesque black suede Heaven Boots ($1350) by Jimmy Choo, which will be available next month.
Black lipstick was possibly the boldest beauty statement this season (check out Yves Saint Laurent, Giles, and Alice Roi for reference), but we prefer the dark glamour of the also popular panda eye. Our favorite versions came from Viktor & Rolf, Balenciaga, and Lanvin and looked dangerously rock'n'roll. While maquillage uber genius Pat McGrath used black cream eye shadow at Lanvin, we suspect most civilians will find this a bit too intense. Instead try another product McGrath uses and likes, Cover Girl's Eye Enhancers in Dazzling Metallics. The blendable powder shadows will allow even those of us with very little technical skill to get an approximation of the style. More proficient ladies will like the powder/cream duo of Shu Uemura's limited edition Instinct Fall Mode Makeup Duo Eye Shadow in Mystifier ($36).
Sexy Sixties Hair
We squealed with joy when we saw the amazing, sixties-inspired, sex kitten hairstyles on the fall runways. The big, bouncy, backcombed looks are thrillingly reminiscent of Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C. or Veruschka on the cover of Life in the summer of 1967. The wildest version of this style was created by Orlando Pita for Dior, but we also love the modified, more minimal version Guido Palau gave the models at Alberta Ferretti. Also don't miss the teased ponytail styles at Wunderkind and the full-and-natural versions at DKNY and Just Cavalli-all are very inspiring!
The little black dress will always be a constant in our wardrobes, but for fall we want to pick up a new version in black lace. Obviously Prada's version is the one that everyone will be talking about (the craftsmanship is totally extraordinaire), however let's not forget the fact that lots of designers showed gorgeous styles in a variety of silhouettes. On that note, we're particularly head-over-heels about the lace frocks from Burberry Prorsum, Stella McCartney, Givenchy, and Alexander McQueen. They're prim, they're sexy, they're perfect. Of course, they're also expensive, so we suggest starting your vintage store search now, or snap up Topshop's Vintage Lace Dress ($90).