NEW YORK, NY — October 19, 2020 — From outrageously flamboyant styles to all-eyes-on-me gold, there are plenty of stand-out trends for autumn/winter to lift the spirits, even in this strangest of years. If the pandemic has given us a renewed sense of perspective on fashion’s relentless pace, its voracious desire has also reinforced that most basic tenet: at its best, fashion can decorate your day.
The tale of the autumn/winter 2020 season may be best summed up with the idiomatic “all dressed up with nowhere to go.” But, even if you’re confined to your living room, you can expect serious fun with the season’s extraordinary styles.
A studious theme emerged, most suitable for these sobering times. Nerdy knitwear abounded, with cardigans and argyle sweaters paired with everything from denim to silks – as did skirt suits, which are surely an empowering purchase to make right about now.
Backstage at Fendi, one of the most preeminent female designers in the Milan fashion universe, Silvia Fendi, mentioned liberation saying that was the spirit of the show and the spectrum of that freedom ran from the libidinous to the glass-ceiling smashing,“boudoir to the boardroom”vibe. A standout was Fendi’s charming charcoal-colored coatdress, a subtle expression of the“back-to-work” look when the office reopens.
When Akris Creative Director Albert Kriemler talks about his grandmother, Alice Kriemler-Schoch, the family matriarch who in1922 founded the Swiss fashion house that he now leads, he refers to her as “a woman of purpose.” And that, he said in an interview at his Paris studio, “iswho I design for—women of purpose. First of all, they have to be comfortable,” he explained. “It’s very basic but I think when a woman is at ease in her clothes, she can really be her own person. I think a woman of purpose doesn’t want to have complicated clothes.”
And certainly the first few offerings that came out on the runway did not look complicated. Sumptuous cashmere pullovers or a wool, double-face, single-breasted coat that swaddled the wearer were elegant, high-fashion versions of comfort food. Sweet freshness was ushered in with the designer’s short, cuddly cherry-red jacket topping a cubist-inspired, multi-colored skirt worn with black patent boots – altogether gay and just what a woman of purpose might well be adding to her wardrobe this fall.
A recent profile of Marc Jacobs named the designer’s ability to predict a cultural moment as one of his signal characteristics – finding its resonance with today that make his shows so compelling. Mostly absent of prints and, at least where the daywear was concerned, free of any extras or adornments, the collection was singularly spare. Jacobs threw it back to the1960s–Jackie Kennedy, the mods and all that. A strong representation of this was Jacobs’ pure white frock, at once demure yet with a cute, flirty edge. Nostalgia in small doses is neat!
At Burberry, Riccardo Tisci shared his ideas about global influences in his collection, talking about how he’d lived in India and learned meditation – and there was certainly something calmer about the presentation compared Tisci’s more frenetic efforts. Burberry is contributing to modernizing the world’s impression of Britishness and what Tisci serves is sophisticated tailoring and innovation in the form of cuts and details. Referencing a calming Indian influence was the designer’s serene blue pantsuit encircled with a fringed sash instead of a regular belt which nicely softened the design’s silhouette. This company, Burberry, continues to have a majorinfluence, leading the way for others.
“I really like the idea of opulence, but refined opulence, so it isn’t like her majesty coming down the runway,” said Rachel Roy of her fall/winter lineup. “I thought, why not give something different a shot?” Using tactile fabrics and decorative embroideries, she sent down the runway achambord-colored bomber jacket with spiky beads at the shoulders and metallic jacquard panelspaired with a brocade velour pencil skirt, illustrating the fine mix of materials. Again textures reigned with rock chick sexiness in Roy’s greige crew-neck sweater embellished with sparklestopping silky beige trousers tucked into suede boots. Easy, understated, a comfy yet fashionable solution to those dreaded sweats we’ve been living in for way too long!
When Elie Saab opened his fall show with a series of muted black-and-white looks, one had to wonder whether the Lebanese designer was deliberately reflecting the current mood, replacinghis usual irrepressible takes on luxurious dressing with something more somber. But, as quickly became clear, there is nothing somber about an Elie Saab show.
The black-and-white theme continued but the looks became more elaborate, with sumptuous gold detailing making one black coat dress shimmer as it passed by. Black, white and whimsical, Saab transported his audience with an evening dress both girly and elegant. A black velvet top, deeply slashed, ended at the waist of a chiffon skirt liberally splashed with white polka dots. After the show, Saab said he was influenced by Andalusia as he explored it here with ruffles and lace and sweeping skirts that very much projected the gorgeous fantasy of Mr. Saab’s world.
So, at the moment we may not have anywhere to wear these amazing looks but we can dream, can’t we? Now (sob) – Back to Reality.
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Barbara Barton Sloane, is a well respected publicist, the Yonkers Tribune Travel Editor, and the Yonkers Tribune Fashion Editor. She is constantly globe-hopping to share her unique experiences, from the exotic to the sublime, with our readers. She keeps us informed, as well, on the capricious and engaging fashion and beauty scene, and eloquently gives notice to various establishments throughout Westchester County and neighboring communities.