The NJAL Fall 2012 Trend Report

...Fashion Weeks are ahead and its time to welcome the new season with a heads up on latest trends.

by Crystal Kruger
While the Fall 2012 runway shows seem like an age ago already, with resort wear having been and gone in the meantime; autumn trends are finally hitting the racks in a flurry of fabric and fur. This season like every other has its mood, its quirks and personality. A whole new palette of colour and feeling. A new meaning for aesthetic.

With fresh imaginings of classics, twists of innovation and avant-garde, bold new colours and reinterpretations of black – it’s hard to not be swept away in the promise and romance of all things new and shiny. Fall always sees a change of tone, a more serious and sombre approach to dressing but with this year laced with undercurrents of hedonism, there is plenty to feast upon here.

This fall sees Britannia reigning supreme in this golden year of celebration. The Iron Lady – herds of models clad in grandma chic, sashaying down the catwalks of Marc Jacobs, Marchesa and Rodarte; retro twin sets, mismatched layers of tweed and bouclé, loopy cardies, fur collars, sleeves and panels. All pay homage to some of England’s most iconic women including the Queen and of course the Iron Lady herself, Mrs Thatcher. Prim skirts, belted coats and demure necklines speak of refinement and elegance, but dishevelled styling and messy hair tell otherwise. This eccentric aristocrat look is one the English truly do best and if you have ever read Luella Bartley’s “Luella’s Guide to English Style” she paints a convincing portrait.

Another royal nod, with baroque inspired garments lining the catwalks in all their OTT glory. Everyone from Balmain, to Christopher Kane, and Giambattista Valli embraced variations of this glittering trend. A feast for the eyes with brocade textures and rich tapestry-like weaving, luxe golden embellishments starkly contrasted against inky hues, embroidered details and heavy beaded embellishment featuring highly on many designers’ agendas this season. While there may be nothing of the modern, androgynous, minimalist design many favour, it is anything but out-dated. A fresh take on maximalist philosophies, less is definitely not more. Sequin encrusted and bejewelled, gilded and regal. Pleasure and luxury for pleasure’s sake.

On the topic of hedonism and over the top luxe: gold. Glorious gold, the statement hue of the season. Few colours can so powerfully evoke such human feeling and association. The colour of riches, of glamour, of luxury – whether this be old world money, Hollywood of yesteryear, euro trash, bling or celebrity status. This colour has been dripped all over frocks, around necks, across suits at Giambattista Valli, Paco Rabanne and Prabal Gurung. Sumptuous, gold screams conspicuous consumption. Not for the faint of heart, gold demands to go forth and be known. Molten metallics, silks and sequins, lamé, it doesn’t matter. It’s all glorious.

Still on maximalist tendencies, oversized outerwear was a frequent sight on the runway this fall for the boys as well as the girls. Stepping away from the fashion obsessed body-con, the likes of Chloe, Band of Outsiders and Balenciaga embraced extreme size and shape, sculpture and slouchy volume. Coats that catch your eye, that simply take up space in a room, jackets that swing away from the body touting contrast linings and statement buttons, this trend too exudes power and attention, but in far more refined way. And of course, all leave plenty of room for winter layering.

Possibly one of the strongest trends this fall is head to toe printed suits. All over bold florals, geometric prints and retro patterns galore! Miu Miu and Prada absolutely embraced and even epitomised this trend, but was also seen dotted on runways from Rag and Bone to Erdem. It’s all about the pants, statement printed pins set to be huge. For the guys, oversized and cropped tailoring is being featured by the likes of Christopher Bailey. One of the hottest shades is deepest darkest navy-or-is-it-black? Fabrics with subtle sheens continue the rich fabrication of this fall and all over plaids are the masculine equivalent to floral pantsuits.

This autumn is taking its fun where it can be found. Flirty peplums and emphasis on the hips continues the move away from form fitting garments towards architecture, manipulation of shape and form. Style has had a long and sometimes fraught relationship with the hips, from the likes of panniers, crinolines, tulip skirts and now this latest incarnation of an essentially 80’s reference. And yet peplums and sculptural hip details could be seen coming down catwalks across the globe, from Lanvin, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Haider Ackermann, the list goes on! Celebrating the female form this look is far from delicate. Rather, a strong statement; perhaps even a cheeky nod to power dressing.

Military is back again - a wardrobe staple and a true classic that continues to be reincarnated. This time reimaged with fitted and belted silhouettes on men and women, graphic panelling, oversized epaulettes and luxe fabrics. Burberry always does this look well and this fall is no exception. The boys can get in on the action too with trenches, double-breasted jackets with metallic buttons, and strong shoulder lines. Referencing steel cap boots, silver metal hardware featured on men’s footwear at Costume National and Louis Vuitton, appearing both tough yet somehow dapper. Shiny toes and heels, panels and tips - this contrast of sensible leather dress shoes meets armoured panels ends up edgy, fashion forward and maybe even a little bit dangerous.

More rebellion, with leather remaining a constant trend, this time with patent and wax treatments featuring heavily. Lots of all out black and plenty of fierce designs that lend themselves to being extras from the Matrix. Tough yet tailored styles for men and women, deep reds at Acne, bright yellows at Marni, as well as leather inserts and panelling in outerwear. Many of this seasons coats boasted leather sleeves, trims and collars, the leather contrasted against wools of all varieties. As a complete flip, we also saw a whiteout; a monochromatic snow-scape that references all that is winter to come.

While the shows are officially over, there is much more of this season still to see, so much pleasure to be taken. Time now to indulge in interpretation and personal flair, fashions on the street, at the parties, on the bloggers. A rich canvas to gaze upon and to dabble with. A brand new aesthetic to manipulate. Oh yes, this is just beginning.