Fall has always been the best time of year for fashion in New York City. The weather is finally cooling after endless humidity. Thick glossies are piled high on newsstands. And we, denizens of the city's five boroughs, will once again partake in storied activities like strolling through Central Park, popping in and out of galleries, window shopping in SoHo, and lingering over brunch. But only after donning our fall best.
There are some very wearable trends this fall, no matter what your fashion proclivities are. Fifties silhouettes—read nipped in waists giving way to volume with hemlines that hit mid-calf—have received as much attention as longer profiles appearing predominantly in the form of ankle skimming maxi skirts. If you’re blessed with curves, rejoice in lady like looks from Prada and Louis Vuitton. Or, explore new lengths in floor skimming skirts from Michael Kors, Peter Som, or Philosophy.
If skirts and dresses are not your forte, menswear-inspired pantsuits abound this fall. It is certainly a tailored moment, and therefore a perfect season to purchase a suit you’ll wear for years to come. Wiser New Yorkers will be sure to take advantage of Stella McCartney’s Saville Row training by purchasing any of her lust-worthy suits.
Then, there is the abundance of fur—faux and real—appearing everywhere. If you shy away from bolder looks (rabbit fur vests, fox fur coats, or faux fur trousers—I kid you not), simply incorporate some fur into the accessories you wear. Shoes and booties with peek-a-boo fur accents are returning again this fall. While I’ve never seen a reason to warm my iPhone, wallet, and keys, there is no shortage of fur totes and clutches either.
What is the color this fall? Camel. Everyone is calling it the new black. There are also deep saturated crimsons, olive and yellow greens, and aqua blues that will make believers of even the most tried and true black clad New Yorkers.
Economic downturn? Snub your nose at our flailing economy by donning any of the numerous gold frocks or accents that parade down the catwalks. And speaking of cats, leopard prints are in, whether your taste is classic or femme fatale. Try the Rochas leopard print pump or Mulberry’s leopard haircalf Bayswater bag.
Are you wondering what the most solid trend and surefire investment is for our tough economic times? Hands down, the coat wins. This is the year of the coat; no other garment can single handedly transform your look from this fall until next season. Hallelujah! Invest in archetypal styles from Max Mara, a bright Vivienne Westwood car coat, a Rag & Bone or Phillip Lim tweed cape, or any of the myriad classic camel coats out there. What could be more chic than striding down the street in a camel coat set against the grey Gotham morning, latte in one hand, and a newspaper under your arm? I rest my case.
So far, Prada’s cat-eye glasses and gleaming croc embossed penny loafers have made an appearance in my fall look book alongside lots of figure skimming little black dresses. (I tend to vacillate between bombshell and existentialist fury, making the LBD, an eminently malleable staple, perfunctory.) Since this is a walking city, all New Yorkers need a sensible shoe, myself included, the new loafers are just the ticket. Tod’s, Alexander Wang, Cole Haan, and Chloe all have covetable styles available in croc prints, shiny calfskin, or patent leather—with or without tassels. On a budget? Look to classic preppy purveyor G.H. Bass to get your loafer fix. Detest flats? Kilties and tassels on heels are plentiful this season. Check out Celine, Ralph Lauren, and Prada for stacked and spindly heels respectively.
A story about fall fashion trends is not complete without a few covet worthy items: those graphic black and white Isabel Marant sneakers with the hidden heal for when I’m feeling like a mod round-the-way girl, Globe-Trotter luggage for that long-awaited trip to Paris, and a Gryphon or Coach cape. Although I tend toward the more dramatic, Phoebe Philo’s collection for Celine has stylish women in New York (and around the globe) beside themselves. Celine's collection is the perfect combination of effortless yet luxurious minimalist chic—in deep camels and black wool and leather. I’d gladly hand over my first born for Celine’s shearling cape. Simply divine.
A word on tote bags: Lady-like bags may be in for fall, but most New Yorkers schlep far too much around to carry pristine purses. Celine’s new totes, as well as those by Lanvin and Valextra, solve this problem beautifully.