It's strange to think that only a few weeks ago, it was too hot to even think about sweaters.
Fall has now truly arrived. The mornings are crisp and cool; the sun sets earlier in evening with a golden glow unique to Autumn.
Now that fall's here, I'm itching for an American adventure. I want to grab a friend and an old beat up car and head to a cabin up north. Watch the leaves turn to the color of fire, drink tea, read books, and eat pumpkin flavored everything.
Every Fall season seems to arrive with an air of nostalgia. It's a beautiful serenity that I find myself looking more and more forward to each time it arrives.
It actually exists (and on the Upper West Side), but it looks like something more out of an imagination or set design than a real life residence.
Between the floor to ceiling windows, simple-yet-modern furniture, oversized fireplace and museum-quality artworks, it's not easy to discern which design component really makes this apartment so stunning.
The ceiling really ties the whole space together. With the expressionist brushstrokes on a mural scale, the painted ceiling, and the way it is juxtaposed against crisp white architecture, makes the whole space come to life.
Neon has never struck a chord with me. It always feels too much like a "trend," and regarded with disgust as a failing of the 80's.
While I did not jump on the neon bandwagon, as summer has faded out, I'm finding myself drawn more and more to refreshingly bold colors. It must be some sort of denial of the seasons actually changing.
The Christian Dior Haute Couture dress above in its amazing chartreuse is a sort of "non-neon" yet super bold color. The ring-like silhouette seem to soften the color so that it is nothing less than an exquisite work of art.
When I saw this picture of the multicolored agate slice, I felt like it paired back with the gown exquisitely. The central lime color draws you in, but the surrounding varied rings of other bright colors keeps your eye engaged, only to be overwhelmed by the intense details of the contours and color combinations.
One of the spring trends to emerge from the runways in New York, that I'm most excited about is Modern Brocade.
This season designers are taking brocade, which is a material most commonly used in occasion dressing during the fall and holiday seasons, and putting it into daywear for summer.
Because the material is being used in a new way, the silhouettes are staying simple and easy to wear.
The other thing about this brocade trend that's really fun, is that it really is seasonless. Take the Suno skirt in the last picture. You can wear it styled as pictured in the warmer months, or throw on a sweater and boots to keep wearing through winter.
It's a lovely trend, that doesn't feel like a trend.
Once you’ve pulled the images from shows that you’ve liked, now is the fun part: digging into what you’re seeing. This is where you’ve seen everything and now you can really look and see what the trends will be for spring.
Color- are there stand out colors? New color combinations that seem new and interesting? Take note of the model’s coloring juxtaposed with the clothing she’s in. This should be a good indicator of what colors will work for you in spring.
Silhouette- what shapes are you seeing over and over? this should be just as obvious as color. Is it a shorts season? Is it a maxi-dress season? I’m not giving any clues, just some general ideas of how to determine the silhouettes of the season.
Prints and Materials- Is it a print season? Is everything made of shirting? Are designers arguing suede for spring?
Design References- Is everyone referencing the 60s? The future? This makes for really open ended and fun forecasting. Most fashion reporters will write what the designer said their inspiration was. It’s always interesting so see how designers incorporate their inspiration into more abstracted concepts.
Repeat City by City. Fashion in New York is totally different from Paris, from Milan, from Rio. It’s important to first look at trends separated, before compiling and comparing across all the major fashion weeks. Each city has it’s own speciality in the fashion world, and each deserves equal attention. Once you dig into each city, it makes it really rewarding to compare all the trends from each city to each other to create a great big trend recap that you can reference all through Spring and Summer.
*also, don’t forget to look at street style surrounding the shows. this is often a good way to see how wearable (and unwearable) trends are.
Anyone can flip through slides, but you’re on a mission to comprehend. Grab a coffee, an indulgent snack, a couple hours, and comfy spot. Fashion Week in the internet age is a treat!
1. Social Media
Notice scheduling. Pay attention to who’s attending the designer shows. Follow on twitter, watch the livestream, like them on Facebook. Fashion is an industry and everyone is connected. Start to figure out who is collaborating with who, who’s supporting which designers, which models are walking what shows. It will help you figure out which designers are the “it-designers” of the season
2. Figure Out Your Database
I personally like Style.com. You may like another resource. Try to pick one and stick to it. The reviews will be cohesive from show to show with a similar voice. This is really helpful when you go to form your own opinion. Don’t let the editors or news reporter’s tell you what to think yet. That’s what the glossies are for 6 months from now. Right now, the excitement all relies on the fact that YOU get to form your own, personal, opinion!
3. Use Your Eyes
Flip through slides. Watch livestreams! Have Fun! This is the best part! Skim before you comprehend. Get inspired and enjoy! Use Pinterest if you have to!
I personally like to look at the previous day’s shows, each day. This way I can keep up, and don’t get overwhelmed, but strategize as you wish. There's a lot of information to be had and you want to capture it all.
While not all of us can run around the globe chasing the newest designs, with the expansion of the internet, Fashion Week (er, month) now comes to you. And almost instantaneously, at that. What was for decades an industry event has now unfurled into a full blown PR spectacle that as design connoisseurs and fashion enthusiasts, we can’t help but be consumed by. This is the first part (and a little overdue, sorry!) of a 3 part series on how to get the most out of Fashion Week.
1. Acknowledge you cannot have it all.
Unless it is your full time job, (which if you’re not at Fashion Week, it’s not,) you need to focus your efforts. There are simply too many designers and too many cities for you to even attempt to take it all in. Know this before you start, and you won’t be disappointed.
2. Identify your personal style.
Of course this as a small no. 2 is rather unfair. Identifying your personal style takes years and years of experimenting and researching. If you know your personal style, great; you’re done. If you don’t know your personal style, think about types of silhouettes you gravitate towards, materials that excite you, and treatments that you find yourself returning to again and again. Colors and prints will change season to season and year to year, so it’s best to not declare yourself “a blue,” but rather a “feminine structure,” or “embroidery and pants.” When you say it outloud, it sounds like gobbledigook, but if you’re really looking and comprehending style, it will make sense.
3.Know your designers.
Make lists. Those are the shows you need to focus on.
-Your top 10 personal favorite designers
-CFDA Incubator (designers in the spotlight for the first or second time. They will not disappoint. There will be hype. It’s entirely possible they will be the next big thing)
-Must-see shows by city (the labels that season after season never fail to excite and the press hypes)
-Parisian Couture houses
You wouldn’t expect to breeze through half a year of The New York Times in 15 minutes; take the time to really invest your energy in learning and comprehending what you’re seeing. Fashion Week explores a half a year's worth of work. Plan on taking the time necessary to really involve yourself.