Fall X: The Good News

Standouts From the Fall 2010 Fashion Front

We no longer kid ourselves about anything even approaching an Indian Summer here in Central Texas, autumn being that temple of transitional mixing and showing off of suntans with sweaters that inspire New Englanders. But now, finally, we too get to feel cool breezes in the morning and a bit of iron at night.

The long sleeves and pants that were unthinkable a week ago are looking better and better, and gasp we might even go for a pair of tights. The three-foot high stack of September monthlies, avoided until they began to gather dust, have exploded onto every surface in the office, so that it looks like a paper art installation. We shook out a few findings, and can report only a few surprises in a season that looks a lot like Fall 2009, which is another way of saying, don't send the ankle boots to Goodwill just yet. Still, a few trends do stand out, even if some are fever-pitch versions of last year's direction.

1) Bulky cable knits rise again. When Isaac Mizrahi was presenting collections the first time around, he made an enormous cashmere creamy cable-knit that was like a bathtub of Chantilly cream. Soon after came the democratization of cashmere, and our interest moved from thick texture to body-conscious lightweight knits and draped jerseys. Now, apparently, we are looking up from our festooned navels to appreciate big texture and largesse in fabric over the curve of our glutes under it. The spider web cardigans and pullovers from Kersh are a good way to ease into blasphemy of bulk, in fact we wished we had known about this label last spring. Green-conscious Hessnatur is a favorite now because for those who hate hats, they make a truly great-looking cashmere slouch hat and cowl sweater.

Hessnatur slouch hat

Hessnatur Alpaca cowl sweater

Kersh Spiderweb

2) Christian Dior's New Look silhouette, as resurrected by the television series, Mad Men. Marc Jacobs' Louis Viutton and Prada both present four-yard skirts in waves of fabric, springtime looks in heavy fabric and leather.

Prada

Louis Vuitton

Christian Dior's New Look

3) Good news for Cindy Widner: Squared toes and heels are coming on strong! Accessorizing a general return to structured daywear, i.e. trouser suits and dress coats, they often feature loafer-fringe or tassles. We like Miu Miu's bullet-proof bows and the mustard-yellow Rochas slingbacks. We found zebra-print, round-toe booties from Nine West, but fell hard for Balenciaga's crazy plastic chunks.

Rochas swashbucklers

Nine West

Balenciaga

4) The sound of Ralph Lauren's fingers drumming on his desk waiting for the return of the proper trouser for daytime. Chloe's putty-colored high-waists, and over at Ralph Lauren's brand-new Madison Avenue flagship, you can have a three-piece suit made to measure in two fittings. Ralph wouldn't approve, but plaid versions abound. Wear your jeggings while you can.

Organic by John Patrick

Chloe

5) The big tease isn't going anywhere but up. The higher you can get that fat Chinese Egg Bun, the better. Someone gave Snooki a Bump-It, and everyone else is teasing like crazy. If you need a hair rat, dial it up on Amazon here. In other news, you should stick those feathered head-pieces your friend made on a lampshade, and pop a few Rose Marie-worthy velvet bows or jeweled combs at odd angles in your massive coif. Ribbon randomly-woven through bird's nests also seems like a pretty good idea.



Rose Marie

6) The use of fur for sculptural shape, not warmth. How about black fox yoga pants apres ski? Fur seems to sprouted all over fall accessories as well.

Chanel


Chanel

7) More animal prints than the dining room at Graceland. We were determined to ignore this one, having seen too many hot pink tiger prints. That ended when the craving for an ocelot frame bag and cheetah car coat became cat scratch fever.



8) Military in Army green and khaki. There are plenty of silk parkas, tapered cargo pants, and camo booties as seen above, but the real news for us is Chanel's new khaki collection of nail colors, and Smythe outerwear.

Burberry

Chanel Khaki Collection

Ignoring: The Native American/Nanuck moment as just another bowl of granola; the last gasps of boho-vibe hippie dresses, which, just as they did in the Seventies, are looking slatternly; over-the-knee hooker boots, Loubie or not; Vuitton's various mouse-nosed pointees and Prada's, as well; feathers in the vicinity, and invariably, in the dip.

Just say no, no! to this Roger Vivier.

But to this McQueen, say, Yes! Yes! Yes!

Bargain Hunt: Express blue silk blouse and black pants; GAP seven new black pants.; Kmart's Route 66 twill military jacket and skinny cargoes; Sears peep-toe buckle booties and twill military vest, as well as a very decent, black work-to-cocktails dress; dial up L.L. Bean Signature for bulked up cardigans, and while you're there check on a nifty black garbardine blazer.

Boot Watch: Lela Rose for Payless perforated peep toes; count on Michael Kors Joplin boot for buckles, laces, and straps; it looks like Louboutin's lasciviousness knows no limit, this year's over the knee boots dominate with long, tentacle-like zipper pulls whipping the backs of leather-clad knees.

Michael Kors Joplin boot

HEAD SNAP: Baby lions being wrangled by a naked bowl of buttermilk, aka Julianne Moore, for Bulgari bags and jewelry...We're glad we stumbled on womenssuits.com, which promises to be "well-dressed and well-blessed for Fall 2010". The hats and party dresses are worth your time...Juicy Couture's Juicy Fields Forever: We still don't know what this is, but the ads seem to indicate a move away from pink and black strollers to technicolor haywire vomit. If you need more evidence that we live in a babylon, it is definitive here, although we do like the vacuum cleaner.

like a bowl of cream

Mayhem, in a creepy way.

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