What’s Up for Fall?

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A Jean Paul Gaultier design, shown in Style.com's "Parka City" feature. Photo: Yannis Vlamos

The fall fashion trends from London and Milan are actually rather friendly for our North State weather and fashion sensibility. Even Yanks such as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Vera Wang are showing oversized parkas and fake furs, 1960s-inspired clothing, and women’s tuxes. That means Target and Macy’s will be showing their versions as well, which will help our budgets.

All women of a certain age have 60s style clothing in their closets, whether they were actually from that era or were born later. Tailored skirts and dresses, bold color-blocked prints, and wild colors are all in style for fall, so check your closets for something that can be worn as-is or maybe updated slightly.

And as a throwback to the 1980s, remember that incredible backless tux that Jennifer Beals wore in “Flashdance”? We all have worn some version of a tux jacket (maybe not as sexy as that one), but worn over cigarette pants, a long slim skirt, or as a dress. Again, check your closets or local thrift stores and maybe add a great trouser for any formal occasions you have coming up in the fall and winter. If you need a more casual look, try the long jacket over leggings.

If you love polka dots, you may want to stock up this season. I have seen turquoise and black prints, fish scale sequins, and the classic black and white in dresses, skirts, pants, and even coats. One of my favorite dresses is a tone-on-tone sculpted dress shown by Jeremy Lang made from a gun metal gray that was absolutely fabulous. I’m not a big fan of polka dots but this dress was made out of a textured fabric with sheer “dots.” It was flattering and imaginative and totally on-trend. From bold red and black contrasts to the tone-on-tones, polka dots are being seen standing alone or combined with classics like pinstripes.

A Bottega Veneta design shown on Style.com. Photo: Yannis Vlamos

One look I have never personally cared for is color blocking, but the fall runways were full of really imaginative combinations of colors and prints. Whether it’s combining separates of different colors, or color blocking within one garment, the colors are bold and fun. Imagine black and orange sheers, black and white geometric prints, or fuchsia and orange in one coat, as shown by Bottega Veneta. Color blocking can be used to emphasize or downplay our problem areas, too. Consider a bi-colored pant creating a long and lean look. Or a black slim pant with a bold colored top, bringing the emphasis of the design away from your bottom half. Used creatively, color blocking can be our friend.

If you like furs, you may want to check out all the incredible fake furs that are being shown. Some of them look like “real” fur but most are done in fun colors, such as teal, pink, orange, and gold. And they are all different lengths of nap so, again, you can use fur to puff up those parts of your body you want to make bigger, or use a small napped fur to de-emphasize an area of concern. A small fur collar or vest can add a little whimsy to a classic suit.

Parkas and coats shown on European runways are oversized and bulky, generally too warm for our moderate climate. But if you plan on skiing or taking a trip to the East Coast this fall or winter, you may want to invest in one of these great looking jackets. Again, the colors are fun, combining oranges, gold, and fuchsias with more neutral shades. And look for lots of belts and buckles, trim details that make your jacket stand out.

Check out www.style.com for the latest in fall trends and fashion runways. Then search your closets and local boutiques!

Barbara Stone is the owner of Barbara Stone Designs, a full-service tailoring and dressmaking business at 5200 Churn Creek Road, Suite P, Redding, CA, 96002. She can be reached at (530) 222-1340 or bstonedesigns@sbcglobal.net.

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Barbara Stone
Barbara Stone is the owner of Barbara Stone Designs, a full-service tailoring and dressmaking business at 5200 Churn Creek Road, Suite P, Redding, CA, 96002. She can be reached at (530) 222-1340 or bstonedesigns@sbcglobal.net.
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