Hey, it’s fall! Grays and tweeds… duh. Rich knits… double-duh. Here,
The L’s Laurel Pinson and Zachary Palmer weigh in on the trends fashion editors actually found worth writing down.
EXAGGERATED ARCHITECTURAL SHOULDERS
Laurel: Perhaps it’s the result of years of wearing plaid kilts to school (oh, the flashbacks of Pearl Jam and wafting CK One in class) or my mother’s determination to find our “family plaid” for my wedding day, but I can’t wear plaid without shuddering. While Phillip Lim created one compelling argument with a plaid skirt and a top hat, I remain unconvinced.
Zachary: Done with a knowing fashion-crush on Bruce Springsteen? Fine. Done with affections for Clueless (both pleated-skirt Cher Horowitz and skater/grunge icon Travis Birkenstock)? Eh. Somewhere in the middle is the Eazy-E plaid. I wear plaid, but give me three months and I will be peddling Inspi(red)-style t-shirts with autobiographical lines like, “If you are wearing plaid, you are not getting laid” and “If you are wearing plaid, you must not be getting paid.”
Architectural pieces loomed large in the fall collections overall (did anyone see that Rodarte collection?), but I mostly noticed all the shoulders. Between Karen Walker’s ‘up-tick’ shoulders on a blazer and the ‘bat wings’ on a black Zac Posen gown, I sense tragedy looming on crowded subway platforms and at cocktail parties.
As much as I love the erstwhile powersuit and the fashion of early Friends episodes, and as much as Balenciaga is amazing, skinny jeans plus linebacker shoulders results in the proportions of a tube of toothpaste with a head (oh, how murders-for-shoes and the phrase ‘bust a cap’ come full-circle). This ends up with everyone both looking and moving like Lego characters or (summer blockbuster intertextuality) Transformers.
The little black dress came back in a big way, looking slim and conservative. Personally, I’m all for having a slimmer silhouette for fall, especially since I often end up layering dramatic jackets, coats and scarves on top of whatever I’m wearing. The whole ‘architectural dress for fall’ concept only makes sense in LA, where you never actually wear a coat.
Really [removes index finger from throat]
, is this new? [Heads to bathroom.]
Also, how does this work between oversized sweaters and exaggerated-architectural shoulders? Oh, that Will and Grace
episode with the cosmetic shoulder surgery — remember that one?
I always fall in love with cuddly, oversized sweaters for fall and then all of a sudden it’s winter and I’m trying to stuff my bulky-ass arms into a pea coat or a long, fitted jacket. Stella McCartney’s offerings seemed a little “Michelin Man” for me, but I’ll probably warm up to them.
Functional as a layer, but entirely too welcoming for belted tops. Just the same, anyone who knows me knows I love my old-lady sweaters, and that none of my clothes actually fit. Maybe there is some truth to tight-on-bottom/big-on-top (and vice versa). In my experience, though, I end up looking like I’m wearing a mod dress and tights. (Chantal Goya in Masculin féminin, anyone?) Oversized sweaters are very Clarissa Explains It All
, if they had correctly named it Clarissa Explains It All Wrong
— sorry, Melissa Joan... I Hart you!
SLOUCHY, WIDE-LEG PANTS
I’ve said a lot about Diane Keaton’s Annie Hall
style coming back and I’ll say it again: Invest in a nice boy’s shirt and some slouchy pants. While those of us with hips (holla!) might be better off trying something with a higher waist, I say this is my favorite trend for fall.
‘Slouchy’ and ‘wide-leg’ are words that are anathema to fashion, right? I guess that, maybe, you can only go so far with a skinny trend (skin trade, what?) until wide becomes skinny in photographic negative; like when my hair was down to my chest and I identified with the shaved-head hardcore kids, and when I was using my 1/8 inch guard and headbanging.
HATS: TOP HATS TO FEDORAS TO ROUND BRIMS (AT MARC JACOBS)
Was it bangs that brought all this on? It was bangs, wasn’t it? Every designer looking at all those adorable models walking in for their castings thought, “Oh my gaaawd wouldn’t you look so cute in a top hat?” But no, she would look silly. Dig the fedoras, though.
I have a collection of vintage hats I inherited from my great-grandfather, but octogenarians are the only people who should be wearing hats like these. Ska and rockabilly kids can keep them. Frank Sinatra impersonators and Slash, too. There is a slippery slope from Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral
to the sartorial torture of the Sex and the City
episode (“Oh Come, All Ye Faithful”) where Miranda and Carrie dress in their Sunday worst.
STACKED HEELS (MIU MIU, CHLOE)
I know we all thought stilettos were unabashedly sexy and that Christian Louboutin’s 7,000-inch stiletto heel was the shizz, but really, doesn’t a stacked heel with a bit of platform make more sense? Everybody, just watch out for one another’s toes, though. We’re all in this together.
Only 5’1” at 15, my first license read that I was 5’ 6” — stacked heels give me a second Napoleon complex. All the cowboy boots in the world cannot compare to your 5’10” female friends in heels that were, until fall 2007, reserved for goth shows, fetish parties and carnivals.
ROYAL BLUE AND NAVY
Thakoon may have lost out to Phillip Lim at the CFDA Awards (don’t worry, you and Zac Posen should have a drink — he’s done quite well despite not winning either), but his palette was absolute perfection. I can’t think of anyone — freckled, dark-skinned, alabaster-hued — who won’t shine in that navy-meets-royal-blue color.
What The Devil Wears Prada
cerulean-tirade scene!? What foresight/redundancy. As for navy, see: the same speech, the YSL reference of cerulean military jackets. Any color bandwagon gives me the same Pepto Bismol reaction as oxen-looking men sheepishly incorporating pink Oxfords into their wardrobes. How royal, how supportive of warships. Goodness, this makes me blue.
METALLICS, GLITTER AND GLOSS
Ok, it’s officially been a year since Nicholas Ghesquiere walked C-3PO-style gold pants down the runway for Spring 2006, so maybe metallics really are back. Maybe I’ll buy some gold American Apparel leggings and maybe I won’t, but all the patent leather certainly seems sexy.
The words on metallic-y shirts should be made with glow-in-the-dark stage tape, then trampled upon by the entire rotating-stage cast of Les Misérables
. The only metal for me is death metal. Death to this trend! Oh, and black metal... here: metallic is not the new black. Is that ‘Glitter and Doom’ exhibit still running at the Met?
BURSTS OF COLOR (YELLOW AND RED IN THE FALL? SCANDAL!)
I was as shocked as you all were to see Karen Walker’s bright blue coat, Marni’s minty cocktail dress and the blast of yellows and pinks at Chaiken and Biba. But who says you have to wear gray and brown all fall? WHO SAYS, DAMMIT?! (That said, I draw the line at a hot-pink Stella McCartney pantsuit. C’mon.)
I thought that people lived in New York to avoid having to wear color (cliche, yes, but take a comparative look at New York and Los Angeles street fashion pages at elle.com). I enjoy a splash or two, but save it for spring smiles and winter necessity. Yellow and burnt orange belong in my mother’s Thanksgiving sweaters. Is this a conspiracy to simultaneously a) continue the embargo on men wearing color, and b) ruin the androgyny of layering?