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Fall Fashion Trends - Sarah Bailey of Harper's Bazaar In Depth Interview: Fashion's Gone Victorian with Tailored Suits, Lots of Black, Clothes with Volume - Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Lanvin, Rochas, YSL - WEEKLY FASHIONTRIBES FASHION PODCAST
Fall 2005 Fashion Trends From Sarah Bailey of Harper's Bazaar - In Depth Interview: The Summer of Love Has Passed. It's All About Prim Victorian - Beautiful Suits, Well Cut Skirts, Clothes with Volume - Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Lanvin, Rochas, YSL - MP3 File
BRIGHT BOHO BREEZINESS GIVES WAY TO PRIM VICTORIAN
After a summer of carefree girlie fashion flounciness, hippie-deluxe-boho-gorgeousness has given way to a somber Victorian mood, filled with prim suits in dark colors, exquisitely tailored coats, and structured works of fashion art that bring to mind words like “fantastic” and “architecture.” However, initial reactions were mixed; these new skirt lengths and sheer volume of some of the clothes – to the point of bulkiness in some collections - were quite different than what most fashion editors expected to see coming down the runway. “I think some of the bulk in some of those coats and skirts is going to challenge people and I don’t think they’re going to necessarily be confident to wear so much fabric and a look that’s quite so heavy,” explains Sarah Bailey, the deputy editor in chief of fashion bible Harper’s Bazaar. But she feels this new silhouette and the overall feel heralds “a baggier, looser, less kind of sexed-up way of dressing. There’s a new emphasis on tailoring, form, and the architecture of clothing. It’s a serious fashion season, and I think serious fashion fans will really enjoy it.”
Key collections that best represent this tailoring, form & architecture:
“I think both designers were influenced by the archives of Cristobal Balenciaga with this kind of very controlled, refined volume, big sleeves and sort of bubble skirts.” While these garments are not body conscious, they still manage to avoid looking weighed down or bulky, and most imporant of all: they flatter. “There were other experiments in volume as well in the season which were certainly very controversial and not everybody felt was their cup of tea, but I think both of these collections were really very expertly controlled,” says Bailey. “Miuccia Prada and Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton really nailed a new silhouette which I think we’re going to see influencing fashion for a few seasons to come.”
An avid fan of color, Bailey finds herself being seduced by the dark side. “Even though I love to wear color it’s a kind of exciting prospect to wear these really magnificent and beautiful pieces, and I’m kind of excited. I think, “yes! I want to invest and get those pieces into my wardrobe. It’s like I want some of those new flavors in my wardrobe. I’m kind of very turned on by those pieces.”
THE RETURN OF “PURE” DESIGN?
“We’ve been in some very, very rich, crazy, throw-it-all-on seasons, a lot of fashion gets photographed a lot of the time, but it means that certain kind of flashy items lose their allure pretty quickly,” explains Bailey. “We all see a lot of it, and the eye and the palette gets jaded. I think there’s a general kind of jadedness as to what serious design is about. Too much razzle-dazzle, too much bling, too much embellishment.” While some of this new swing away from bling can be attributed to the fashion pendulum, some of it is designers looking for ways to stand out from the celebs that sport their designs. “Designers, I’m sure, are absolutely thrilled that young Hollywood girls wear their clothes all the time and are photographed in them, but designers are also thinking seriously how to differentiate what they do from the celebrity industry.”
As fashion is beginning to move away from extravagant embellishment and an overtly sexy “pop tart” sensibility, designers like Prada and Marc Jacobs are rethinking their craft and forgoing eye-candy for the essential elements of great fashion: interesting design and well-cut shapes – the metier of Cristobal Balenciaga, this season’s muse. “I think designers have been thinking really seriously about how to make clothes special and interesting again, and going back to the pure kind of design thinking. It was a season when you could have accused a lot of designers of playing it safe, or you could look at as getting back to the principles of what they do and really concentrating on making beautiful clothes, and less on the razzle-dazzle. I think it’s a return to thinking about clothes in a really kind of pure way, and a revolutionary designer like Balenciaga I think is just where they want to be looking and studying.”
EDIE SEDGWICK IN SIBERIA: WHEN BAD THEMES HAPPEN TO GOOD FASHION
Although “pure” design is back, some designers didn’t get the memo. From Edie Sedgwick’s go-go 60s to Russia-With-Love, “there are some very strident themes in the fall collections…they are very pronounced and very loud.” While Bailey enjoys elements of these collections such as the return of velvet in many of the Russian-themed collections, overall, she found these shows a little too costume-y and "yammering to necessarily wholeheartedly embrace, and less interesting than the more profoundly interesting collections [that] are not overtly themed or gimmicky.”
ONE TREND THAT SIMPLY NEEDS TO GO AWAY
A trend bubbling up from the street that has been duly noted, but wisely not acted upon in any way by Harper’s Bazaar is leggings. And Bailey? “Violently against.”
THAT OH-SO-CONTROVERSIAL MARC JACOBS COLLECTION
Roundly condemned by many as unspeakable in the immediate aftermath of collective editor rage over a show (a) inconviently located away from the tents at Bryant Park, and (b) it began hours late and didn’t end until around 10 pm, delayed (as rumor has it) for, yes, celebrities, the Marc Jacobs show was controversial to say the least. Dominated by oversized silhouettes and dark colors – which garnered unkind comparisons to sacks, and the like – once hurt feelings were assuaged in the days that followed, fashion editors began to reconsider what may just prove to be a repeat of the shockwave caused by Jacobs’s infamous and hugely influential grunge collection for Perry Ellis in 1992.
“I think it’s one of those collections that’s fascinating. The longer you sit with it, the more relevant it seems, says Bailey. “I think it was audacious and it certainly shocked people, but on reflection, I think ‘how marvelous that he had the confidence to do that. The longer I’ve looked at these clothes, and worked with them at Harper’s Bazaar and sent them out to various shoots, and the editors have gotten excited about them, the more that collection makes sense to me. But I think the further I’ve gotten into the season, the more I’m enjoying and appreciating that collection.” Part of what Bailey finds so compelling about this collection, inspired by the sulky, morbid teenager Violet in the animated movie The Incredibles – what makes the collection so “relevant” – is that it is so on-trend with the overall melancholy, Victorian mood dominating the runways.
“The more I return to it and look at those little flashes of color, that gorgeous purple, that lovely mustard-y yellow, the more I think he’s really got a handle on how to work color into your fall wardrobe, which is going to be a very dark season, and there’s a real design intelligence there. The more I think about it, the more impressed I am by it.” In particular, she finds the knock-out chartreuse number with an overlay of black tulle twisted into a rose “romantic, sort of sad, and melancholy…I think, “oh, how delicious.” It was so surprising, I was almost not ready for it.”
DESIGNERS BELOVED BY BAZAAR:
- ROCHAS All hail Olivier Theyskens for his “beautiful, exquisite collection.” How did he manage to make long, ruffled Victorian skirts look…desirable? “There’s a real control in that cutting, and structuring, of the garment because long, bustled skirts are not exactly the most wearable skirt shape for the contemporary woman and yet, he’s managed to make those skirts look so desirable, you just feel that yes, you would like to be walking into a cocktail bar wearing one. It’s amazing… the heartbreaking romanticism – it’s absolutely glorious.”
- LANVIN Design god Alber Elbaz has hit yet another home run, especially with his eveningwear. “He is making really serious and beautiful items of clothing that are meaningful, romantic, and that you’ll want to wear for years to come.”
- BALENCIAGA How does one take a military uniform and transform it into something ab fab? Nicolas Ghesquiere has the knack. “The way that he embraced a theme like military, and yet made it look contemporary and delicious and precisely what you should be wearing, and not at all like costume. It was incredibly well done.”
- YVES SAINT LAURENT Stefano Pilati’s collection of serious, beautiful clothes herald “a different approach to dressing with thick belts cinching the waist – very elegant, very womanly, and yet very subtle and mature …an important collection.” Standout pieces include the elegant belted sweaters and crocheted neckpiece/jabots.
- LOUIS VUITTON From his sober suits to beautifully cut jackets to stunning jewelry, Marc Jacobs simply nailed it. Between the influence of Cristobal Balenciaga and Viennese Secessionist architecture – his design team headed to Vienna to soak up this “sad, beautiful moment in European art” – this collection is the result of “thinking in a very un-gimmicky way about clothing and its relationship to the body.”
- PRADA Is it possible to heap more accolades on Ms. Muiccia’s petite head. From the return to black to a dramatic paring down on embellishment, her gorgeous collection is “very serious, back to beautiful shapes…and hugely influential and important.”
SHOPPING WITH SARAH: YOUR HANDY HIT-LIST FOR FAB FALL FASHION
- JACKET If you are only going to buy one item this season, make it a beautifully cut Louis Vuitton with bracelet sleeves and a gorgeous neckline.
- SWEATER A belted number from Yves Saint Laurent.
- COAT Bailey has a jones on for an adorable, empire-waisted coat from Miu Miu in purple. “The gorgeous purple that reminds me of candybar wrappers…It’s vaguely Russian-themed, but not overtly. You don’t feel like you’re auditioning for the Hallmark version of Anna Karenina.”
- RED SHOES What better way to shine in a sea of black than with a pair of red shoes! Go for Lanvin’s velvet, round-toed version. “They are the most fairy-tale gorgeous pair of shoes, so I’ve definitely got those on my dance card. I think if you’re wearing a little tulip skirt, a v-neck sweater, probably belted, and a pair of tights and you’ve got a pair of red shoes on, you can just take on the world.”
- WHITE SHIRT Cut all that black with a crisp, white shirt, especially one with a Victorian, almost ecclesiastical feel. Both YSL and Viktor & Rolf make good ones, and Bailey’s got her eye on a “to-die” for one from Balenciaga. “A little pie-crust Victoriana going on, and yet, worn with a pair of neat military pants would look simply so modern.”
- SQUELCHY BAG Bailey has her eye on a “squelchy” beige quilted bag from Marc Jacobs that resembles an “oversized, cartoonish version of a classic Chanel bag with a granny clasp.” She’s also feeling the squelchy bag from UK luxury retailer Tanner Krolle, who who recently received a major style injection by bringing shoe designer Adele Clarke on board. “There’s some really lovely ones in leather that I’ve been having amorous thoughts about. Her new bags are just very squelchy and just right for slinging on your shoulder, and taking over the world.”
- JEWELRY The stunning runway jewelry Camille Miceli created for Louis Vuitton – out of materials like velvet ribbon, tiger’s eye and gobstopper-sized stones – are chic must-haves. “I think that’s one of those other pieces that you could buy and wear with a simple black sweater and just feel perfectly on season.”
- BOOTS Boots are so important this season (almost more so than shoes!) that they’ve been struggling at Bazaar to name the boot of the season. “There’s so many ways you could go with your boot this season. There are some fabulous flat boots that are fabulously wonderful cropped, and also Victorian boots, flat heel boots, wedge heel boots – a key pair at Balenciaga – and from another British label Boudicca who showed for the first time in New York.”
- COCKTAIL DRESSES Alexander McQueen has a beautifully draped emerald green stunner, recently photographed on fashionista Cate Blanchett. “It’s one of those dresses that a girl can have in her closet for years to come.”
(Note: all runway pics from Style.com.)
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