Fall 2010 and Winter 2011 Fashion Trends

By Alyssa Davis and Kaleigh O’Brien

New York Fashion Week: Prepare to bundle up this fall with chunky knits, oversized cardigans, and endless layers featuring rounded hems and large hoodies. Many designers are supporting this cozy trend. Phillip Lim kept his sweaters cropped with extra-long sleeves; Rad Hourani took his collars up, way up; and Rodarte opted for light colors and major fuzz. This gypsy-chic trend was also all over the catwalks of designers like Rachel Roy, Catherine Malandrino, and Yigal Azrouël.Earthy; autumnal hues were the starring colors in the collections presented at New York Fashion Week. Featured during that week were many of the basics, including charcoal gray, black, winter white, and brown. This is great news for the consumer, as all of these colors work well in investment pieces that will far outlive their official season and will have a place in the wardrobe for many years. However, there were some richer colors as well. A mass resurrection of green in every variation, including forest, olive, chartreuse, apple, and hunter green, appeared in decadent beaded gowns, tailored blazers, and anoraks. Perhaps the most important color trend for fall 2010 is a rich, deep red that looks as if it is going to carry over into areas like accessories and even makeup. Look for lots of rich red lipstick next fall.

 London Fashion Week: Many designers showcased masculine-feminine contrasts. Florals were paired with leather, soft furs brushed against military embellishments, and the juxtaposition of hard and soft ruled, always with a keen eye toward sharp tailoring, especially at Burberry.

Milan Fashion Week: Noteworthy trends featured at Milan Fashion Week included all shades of brown, patchwork, and lace. Colors spanned the rainbow, with jolts of red, yellow, and blue. Dolce and Gabbana rendered the Alpine with loads of Nordic prints, as sheer moody florals, incognito lace and silk dresses, tufts of fur, and velvet separates – not to mention glittery ski goggles and stompy fur boots – injected a mountain mystique.  The menswear tailoring trend continued in Milan. At the Jil Sander show, designer Raf Simons dressed his models in androgynous, retro-looking suits. While power dressing emerged as a major trend in Milan, unapologetic sexiness also stood out as an important runway statement. Donatella showed motocross minis at Versace, as well as gowns that were slit up to the hip.  At Prada, designer Miuccia Prada focused on a woman's natural curves, even going as far as to have pointed bra inserts sewn into certain tops and dresses.
Paris Fashion Week: Paris concluded Fashion Week with a mix of edgy trends and ultimate sex appeal. Sequins, chains, leather pants, strong shoulders, military detailing, and leopard were seen from Balmain, while Christophe Decarnin delivered some seriously chic floor-sweeping numbers with thigh-high slits that felt just as sexy as their mini counterparts.

The Fall 2010/Winter 2011 menswear fashion shows over the past month have shown many new trends, while also recycling some from the past couple of years.  This fall, men should focus on layering their clothing but at graduated lengths, to bring attention to each piece.  The big shows this season proved that this year is all about the jacket.  You’ll have to tuck away your big puffer jacket that you rocked this past winter, because this year is all about quilted jackets.  The overall feel for men this year is military-inspired ruggedness, but with a classic influence.  At the Michael Kors show, distressed leather jackets were given a classy twist with big fur collars and were paired with crinkly, parachute-style trousers.  Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent continued the leather trend with leather blazers; Perry Ellis and Armani opted to take the blazer trend to new heights by bringing back velvet, which has been popping up everywhere on the women’s scene as well.  The one major shoe trend for men this fall is the combat boot.  Tim Hamilton, Louis Vuitton, and Dolce and Gabbana (to name a few) dressed the majority of their models in big, distressed boots that brought the military look together nicely when the pants were cuffed to show the boots.  Suits for men this year are inspired by the classic 1920s and 1930s era.  The suits feature a look with broad shoulders, slim trousers, and skinny ties.  Chanel proves that the double-breasted suit will make its mark this year with slim cuts.  The classic revival will be seen not only in the cut of the suit but also in the patterns:  Consider houndstooth, herringbone, or pinstripe.  This fall and winter season looks as if it will be a good year to consider buying an investment suit, because one-season wonders are nowhere to be found this year.  This new decade brings a new man into the fashion world.  Typically overshadowed by women’s wear, men’s trends are making their mark this year with detailed accessories like leather and canvas bags, intricate footwear, and a more broad collection of textiles and textures to choose from than ever before. 

Illustration by Christian Dipietro

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