Freedom is the New Black

Fashion magazines are filled with pages emphasizing texture this season, and much early fall shopping has already followed suit. Fall’s central look is what I call “mixed media.” Designers are using a variety of interesting textures and making them work as a unified whole—sequins and tweed, or leather and tweed, for instance. Examples of the “mixed media” trend can be found in Rachel Roy’s architectural yet feminine Fall 2012 collection—and especially in her stunning tweed and leather jacket. A particularly unique take on the mixed media trend can be seen in Badgley Mischka’s tweed and sequin dress, which is piped and trimmed in leather. This is a spectacular day to evening dress that is both figure flattering and fashion forward.

A garment created out of varied textural elements can work on virtually any figure type. The trick is choosing pieces that don’t create sharp visual contrasts, which tend to accentuate figure imperfections. Like most trends, mixing contrasting fabrics and textures is not a new fashion statement. Prada did it in the 90s and at around the same time our Southampton store carried a wonderful dress from the early days of the Shoshanna collection (they were already mixing tweeds and sequins beautifully).

Perhaps “freedom” is the biggest new trend. Women can choose between slouchy trousers or tight straight pants, between slim pencil skirts or a fuller pleated silhouette, futuristic or retro styling…options abound! It’s a time where every woman can dress in the style that suits her figure, personality and lifestyle best. Most of all, pieces can be easily moved around to create surprising new looks. Accessories are not taking a back seat this season either and are making daring statements. Chunky necklaces, strong cuff bracelets, statement earrings, bold cocktail rings, opulent scarves and fabulous handbags continue to be an important part of the wardrobe.

If you’re the type who buys to last and likes to plan ahead, don’t worry, the freedom trend continues for spring. Lighter fabrics will of course prevail, but an emphasis on interesting textural combinations will continue to be strong, which means the pieces you add to your wardrobe this season will continue to be relevant when the frost thaws. Jackets and pants or neutral toned skirts will especially be accentuated by forthcoming designs that combine minimalist lines and opulent touches, as well as geometric prints and striking colors.

I have two favorite fashion rules. One is to always wear clothes that flatter you and never something that doesn’t just because it may be a new trend. The other equally important rule is to “step out of the box” and try something new each season. Fashion is supposed to be a fun expression of the self. So tap into your rebellious side and break those “season rules.” Wear white pants after Labor Day, velvet before November, suede in the summer and patent leather anytime! A favorite go-to look of mine is a combination of good-fitting straight-leg pants, a simple shirt and a great jacket or scarf. Having a signature style does not mean sticking too rigidly to a comfort zone, though. It’s important to keep changing, or perhaps evolving, your signature style.