Fall is shaping up to be very interesting this season: literally. I wrote elsewhere about black being back—as if it ever left. It never did leave the chic woman’s closet, but what’s different is that fashion chatters stopped trying to show it the door, while designers sent it down the runways in all beautiful manner of texture and shine…and unusual silhouette. Gone are the wackiness of patterns and color for kickiness or shock value. It’s dressing by Sharpie ®…drawing a strong line, cutting a figure, and fall’s the time to do it.
It can be as simple as a strong, square shoulder in a black t-shirt. But more likely, it is a shape not of the body, but built out from the body, with strong collar, a nipped-waist on a jacket, a skirt cut to curves, a big shawl for evening.
What will be interesting this fall is to see how the avant- among us will experiment with shape and proportion. There are balloon skirts and shaped sleeves, shawl collars, tailored shoulders (not strong 80s shoulders, just good tailored shoulders) flared skirts, and jackets belted with wide dark leather belts. It’s not New Look radical, but it’s different and more importantly smart.
There’s an edginess to this new look, as feminine as it may be, that answers the floufiness of recent trends…recall ruffles and ribbons and…
For several years now (more?), the dominant aesthetic in the warm months has meant light, often sheer fabrics draped possibly, but rarely cut for shape. The emphasis is on the armature, the body underneath. If I read the word “floaty” again to describe a top—particularly in one shopping rag which positively uses it as a crutch—I will flog someone. But this fall, the armature recedes as line and surface come to the fore, making each of us the sculptor of our own silhouette.
For those whose armature is non-model-like this is a great opportunity to take stock of your assets and buy and wear to cut a flattering silhouette that highlights them. It isn’t so much disguising imperfection as a smokescreen or sleight of hand…you keep them enraptured with the fluttering fingers on one hand while unnoticed you slip the card up your sleeve with the other. Can you make a waist where there is none with a belt and a slightly flared skirt? Can you create length by extending the vertical with an unusually cut suit? Can you draw the eye to your lovely wrists with crisp ¾ or bracelet sleeves, cuffed? Elongate your neck by framing it with a queen-like turned up collar?
As we lounge in the heat in our diaphanous whatnot we can start thinking ahead, to a more structured look, to how we can play with form and texture and line to devastating effect.