Notes on Style and Fashion

Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

Free People, Military Ruffle Jacket

Free People, $148,

In DC today, it is rainy and cold and gray. A chilly 45-degrees Fahrenheit, to be exact. In Paris, it is 13-degrees Celsius with a light drizzle.  With this much precipitation in the air, it is only right and fair to turn the eye towards outerwear. If you are like me, one who does not like when the temperature dips below 75-degrees Fahrenheit (or 24–degrees Celsius), then right about now you are looking for coats and jackets and gloves to wear to keep the body warm.

Rainy weather always makes me think first of Paris, more than any other city in the world. Yes, even before Seattle. When thoughts of travel to Paris come to mind, I don’t think summer in Paris, but rather Fall or Winter, sometimes even Spring, in Paris. The association with cool (weather) and Paris works for me because S/S Paris Fashion Week consistently occurs in October. And while it makes sense to explore a city when the weather is less frightful, I can only think of being a flâneuse, that quintessential lolly-gagger who, with umbrella in hand, strolls an arrondissement, stopping before glass windows of shops displaying their wares, enticing one to come and have just one of that thing.

Making one’s way around a wet and rainy Paris as the ever-thoughtful flâneuse then leads to thoughts about jackets and other types of outerwear, which leads me to the topic of today’s post: what to wear on those cool, sometimes downright chilly, days and nights.


Check it: Polyvore

Now that the Spring shows have ended (and what a whirlwind these six weeks have been), I’ve decided to look back at what was presented in each city. The plan is to gage what trends–clothing, shoes, and accessories–we have to look forward to when the temperature starts warming up, and the days began to get longer while the nights become shorter.

Cinched Waists
Alexander McQueen
Martin Grant
BCBG Max Azria
Lela Rose

Bold Color
Catherine Malandrino
Junya Watanabe
Giambattista Valli

Stella McCartney

1920s & 1930s
Temperley (South of France)
Christian Dior (1930s)

Dark Lips
Christian Dior

Flowing, kaftan-like dresses
Giambattista Valli
Stella McCartney

Grecian Silhouette

Erin Fetherston
Sophia Kokosalaki
Alexander McQueen

“Although some would call his designs outrageous, London-born designer Alexander McQueen has garnered attention for many years due to his ability to create clothing that is original and innovative.”

–from a paper titled “Notes on Style” that I wrote three and a half years ago during my graduate study.

The opinion remains. There are many designers whose works I admire, however Alexander McQueen’s name is usually at the forefront if I’m asked who some of my favorite designers are. In my everyday life, when I think about clothing that I would wear, I’m more drawn to the Catherine Malandrino/Diane Von Furstenberg/Martin Grant aesthetic. From an artistic stand point, from a visionary standpoint, though, I adore and appreciate Alexander McQueen’s artful beauty.

His collections veer into the whimsical, which I enjoy. And what holds them together is the careful construction of each piece; a close attention to some detail, whether it’s the precise cut-outs in a stiletto or the swooping curves of a tall hat. Everything is crafted to tell a story, and what a great storyteller he is.

[Photo credits:]

Stella McCartney continues the floral theme seen in the Balenciaga show. Her collection was very floaty and flirty, quite reminiscent of an ethereal nymph.

Giambattista Valli went for the girly hues in rose, canary, and powder blue.

Céline went for the bold in everything from clothes to bags to shoes. Très chic!

Some of the silhouettes, particularly when looking at Stella McCartney and Giambattista Valli, also recall a 1970s vibe with the paisley print and roomy caftan dresses. Groovy!

[Photo credits: Getty Images; WireImage]

Vivienne Westwood never ceases to amaze me. Her designs are unique, but not in a crazy, off-the-wall way, either. Her Spring 2008 collection is very reminiscent of an artist’s palette. Close attention was paid to cut and angle, as well as to fabric choices.

While it may be hard to imagine wearing a Vivienne Westwood creation as one sees it on the catwalk, what calls to me is the creative level of her various designs. The second dress, for example, recalls something floral in the way that it is shaped. The skirt is the stem while the top, billowing and full, is the actual flower.

I also found several of the detail shots inspiring.

[Photo credit:]

COS, Collection of Style, is the newer line available through H&M, the bastion of inexpensive trends. The first COS store opened this past spring in March. What they offer are classic staples that one could use as companion pieces to the more trendy wares that H&M produces.

Saturday began London Fashion week, and COS showed its collection for Spring 2008 at the Royal Academy. The pieces, which while still affordable, have a higher price tag than the clothes at H&M. For the fashionista who has to follow a more conservative dress code in her office, I would suggest COS clothing with a bit more flashy accessories (accessories that won’t have the boss raising her eyebrows in disgust, of course). Hey, even if the concern isn’t about a dress code, still go ahead with the bold accessories. It’s fun!

Look 1

Urban Outfitters

Look 2
COSSigerson Morrison

Look 3
COSAmerican ApparelOh Deer!Gustto

Look One

1. Black bowtie dress, COS [COS]

2. Grey opaque tights, Urban Outfitters, $12

3. Gray suede ankle boot, Rampage, $60 []

Look Two

1. Strapless black dress, COS

2. Gold bangles, Bing Bang, $209 []

3. Red patent wedge heels, Sigerson Morrison, $314.99 []

Look Three

1. Grey belted shift, COS

2. Lemon yellow boat neck top, American Apparel, $24 []

3. Taupe patent pump, Oh Deer!, $90 []

4. Cala clutch, Gustto, $360 []

[Photo source: COS collection, Getty Images]

la fashionista has had an interest in fashion and style since childhood when she first saw her mother dress in the various fashion of the 80s. Her mother was also a great seamstress, which was a definite influence on la fashionista's foray into fashion. Sadly, her mother's sewing talent did not get passed on to la fashionista.

But that doesn't mean that she doesn't still love talking about fashion. Because she does!

Please send all fashion correspondence and inquiries to:

notesonstyleandfashion [at]gmail[dot]com


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