Thursday, August 20, 2009

Runway to Reality: Fall 2009

Nanette Lepore

Fall is without question my favorite season -- and not least of all because of fall fashion. While I'm digging quite a few of this season's biggest trends (though I'm still saying "no" to shoulder pads), my favorite trends for this fall have to be the feminine plaids of Nanette Lepore and the bold, oversized houndstooths of Alexander McQueen and Preen. Random factoid: Houndstooth is a wool pattern traditional to the Lowlands of Scotland while the pattern Americans call "plaid" (but which is properly called "tartan" as plaid is the woolen cloth itself) is, quite famously, a wool pattern traditional to the Scottish Highlands. So one could argue that these two Scots' patterns are really just one related trend. But enough history, let's get on with the pretty, shall we?

Mad for Plaid
Mad for Plaid

Perhaps it's because I came of age in the '90s, but I have a real soft sport for all things grunge. And so, while I may have hung up my flannels and Dr. Martens years ago, a small part of me is still really excited to see that plaid is back. This time around though, I won't be resurrecting my old shapeless lumberjack shirts. Instead, I'll be going for a more feminine take on classic tartan and will be trying a frilly blouse (whose sweetness is nicely tempered by the plaid), a fitted blazer, and maybe even a fun, flirty dress.

Alexander McQueen

Obviously, McQueen's runway show was more spectacle than reality (which is as it should be in my book), though if you remove the headgear and kabuki-style make-up, the clothes themselves are actually incredibly wearable, especially if you mix these in with some more subtle pieces in your wardrobe. What I love most about these looks is how McQueen has taken a very conservative and traditional fabric and turned it on its head by enlarging and distorting the pattern. Instead of stuffy, houndstooth suddenly becomes graphic and mod, but the conservatively cut suits and jackets still reference houndstooth's roots.


Preen takes a decidedly different take on trend, as the huge houndstooth featured in their fall collection strikes me as very British mod. The simple cuts of the clothing and the paired down styling of the models here are also quite lovely and really let the bold pattern take center stage.

Bold Houndstooth

Another great way to play with houndstooth is to do it in color, as Nanette Lepore does in her fantastic cobalt blue houndstooth skirt. For a more subtle look, why not try incorporating some houndstooth in your accessories -- I absolutely adore those Gap ballet flats and Michael Kors' gloves.


Christina said...

The Nanette sleeveless suit jacket in plaid at Saks is really gorgeous. I am hoping it goes on sale. I am also psyched that I still have my Docs and flannels from the first go round! I knew refusing to throw things out would work out in my favor some day :)

Kitty said...

Let's put on Alexander McQueen and listen to some old school Soundgarden and Mudhoney, shall we? Sounds like a delightful afternoon!!!

Kitty said...

ps thank you so much for adding me to your blogroll. rock on! xo kitty

Christy said...

I used to love plaid flannel shirts too...and I too will NOT be embracing shoulder pads again! The purple dress in your first collage is so pretty!

Beth Connolly said...

I love tartan and houndstooth and the Preen pieces are fabulous. No shoulder pads here.

annechovie said...

Hmm, it won't be anytime soon that I can wear anything remotely "fall-ish" but I do love houndstooth and these are great choices, Averill. Have a great weekend!

Sarah said...

I can't believe plaid and houndstooth are back!!

Sarah said...

Oh yeah, and thank you for putting my site on your blog roll!!

Laura@JourneyChic said...

Loooove that houndstooth mini-dress from Preen, and the winter coat you found is fantastic!

Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

Love the houndstooth jackets. And I agree - say no the the shoulder pads!


Dumbwit Tellher said...

I am crazy for tartan & houndstooth - such a great post.I even wore tartan shoes when I married Graham to match his kilt!
I admire Nanette Lepore's design tremendously. She rarely does anything I don't go crazy for. ♥

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