The New Romantics
Sure, we're in a serious relationship with all the borrowed-from-the-boys fashion, but we'd like to take a quick break to appreciate a very feminine trend. Rooted in the Victorian era and recently inspired by the Crawley ladies of Downton Abbey, the season's new romantic looks consist of modest, ladylike silhouettes (high collars, billowy sleeves, and floor-grazing hemlines) mixed with contemporary touches (of-the-moment prints and techno fabrics). As seen on the Gucci F/W 12 runway, the ethereal and enchanting characteristics of this trend have already earned a slew of fans, including designer Rachel Roy and model Jessica Hart, and after reading today's Trend Report something tells us you'll soon become a romantic too!
On The Runway
Romance was the definitive tone at Gucci, but a moody color palette and rich fabrics signified it was a dark one. To-the-floor gowns with high necklines, plush velvet detailing, and peek-a-boo skirts, like the dress above, beg for a dramatic evening out and about.
On The Streets and At Events
WHO: Rachel Roy
WHAT: Heading into the 9th Annual Style Awards early last month.
WEAR: White button-up shirt; custom Rachel Roy embroidered lace sheer maxi skirt; Lorraine Schwartz earrings; Jennifer Fisher cuffs.
WHY: Though the silhouettes are demure, Roy's look is far from innocent, thanks to the combination of her unbuttoned blouse and the skirt's sheer fabric.
WHO: Jessica Hart
WHAT: Photographed at the Brazil Foundation X Annual Gala in New York last month.
WEAR: Valentino dress; Edie Parker clutch.
WHY: A folk-inspired dress feels current with the addition of a circle clutch and a braided updo.
WHO: Leigh Lezark
b>WHAT: At the Viktor & Rolf S/S 13 show last month.
WEAR: Turtleneck top; pleated skirt.
WHY: A printed turtleneck top paired with a floor-length pleated skirt makes for a striking duo, and is an accessible way to try this look during the day.
WHO: Kasia Smutniak
WHAT: Arriving at a photocall during the 69th Venice International Film Festival two months ago.
WEAR: Valentino dress from the Resort 13 collection.
WHY: A crisp white collar and cuffs lend a precious floral gown a dose of modern sophistication.
WHO: Street Style
WEAR: Houndstooth dress; paisley pouch clutch.
WHY: A full-skirted, floor-skimming frock makes a bold statement on its own, but add a large houndstooth print into the mix, and the result is fashion-forward and definitely memorable.
Get The Look/Dresses
To channel your inner romantic, you can really go one of two ways: a floor-length dress with sleeves, or a blouse and skirt combo. The former can be tricky to track down, but there are definitely some great options out there, as we're about to show you. If you don't go vintage, consider the Dacky Felta Dress ($795) by Theyskens' Theory; the stone gray hue and airy chiffon fabric make it a suitable day option, but the addition of an extravagant bib necklace takes it seamlessly to night. We also have our eye on Alice + Olivia's Baylee High Neck Dress ($697), which is Chantilly lace perfection, and Pixie Market's edgy Gypsy Dress ($185). If you desire something with a standout print, go for Rachel Zoe's Bishop Sleeve Gown ($695) or Rachel Pally's Long Rocia Dress ($251); either way, all eyes will be on you.
Get The Look/Tops and Skirts
Of course, this romantic look doesn't have to be so formal. If you want to forgo the gown and choose a pleated maxi skirt instead, consider Ecote's Double Slit Maxi Skirt ($69) or Reiss' Insert Maxi Skirt ($265). Once you snag a skirt, you'll want to add a printed turtleneck, like See by Chloe's Long Sleeve Sweater ($95) or Tory Burch's Ginger Turtleneck ($275) to channel Lezark's on-trend look. The resulting outfit will not only show off your stylish sensibilities, but prove you're a real romantic too!--Jessica Baker
Photo of Kasia Smutniak, courtesy of Getty Images; Photo of Rachel Roy, courtesy of Splash News; Photo of Leigh Lezark, courtesy of INF; street style images, courtesy of Stockholm Streestyle; Gucci runway photo, courtesy of Gucci.