Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Fashion Flash 2011 – Part 1

It’s fall Fashion mid-week in New York and everything and everyone has shifted into high gear. As for me, I am keeping a respectful distance while maintaining a watchful eye on the proceedings. More on that plus tard when all and sundry have folded their tents and the dust has settled.

In the meantime, while we wait for the weather to switch gears from summer to autumn, here’s a heads up on what you’ll be seeing on the streets of New York and Paris this fall.

This season’s hot color is Bordeaux if you’re French, and Burgundy if you’re American. Oddly enough, while the Bordeaux region of France is indeed famous for its reds, the Burgundy region is famous for its whites.

Hmmm. I’m just sayin’. Anyway……….

Burgundy comes straight from the cool color palette of winter and looks best on you Summer and Winter gals with pink and rosy undertones to your skin.

Does that mean that those of us who look best in the warm shades of spring and autumn should risk the ostracism of our fashion forward friends by avoiding Burgundy altogether (the color not the wine)?

Absolutely not! You may now breathe a sigh of relief.

For you Spring and Autumn gals (I’m a classic Autumn) who look best in warm colors, the trick to wearing cooler colors is placement. In other words, where you wear it is what counts.

The colors in your color palette, your most flattering, should be worn closest to your face: tops, scarves, earrings, necklaces and hats. Colors not in your color palette should be worn away from your face: skirts, trousers, bracelets, shoes and handbags.

Here are some examples of how to do it.

The young lady on the left wears a blouse in a multi-colored print of cool and warm shades with cool Burgundy being a dominant color. The green fedora picks up the warm green in the blouse creating a warm frame around her face.

The young lady next to her has added her touch of cool Burgundy in her tights, and should she opt to pull all her warm and cool colors together with a unifying accessory, she could drape this triple print scarf from Zara around her neck. Get the idea? Go ahead and have fun with this season’s hot color, cool Burgundy; just be careful where you put it.

By the way, have you noticed what all these young ladies are wearing? This season it’s all about separates. Remember the return of the bow blouse in my previous post? Well, what goes better with a great blouse than a great skirt, this fall’s most important must-have item.

And, on the list of essentials in any well-dressed woman’s wardrobe right next to the LBD should be the LBS, the Little Black Skirt.

These adorable Little Black Skirts are all available at Zara for well under $100, which makes them not only adorable but “chiconomic.”

The classic A-line on the left with the zipper detail is flattering on absolutely everyone and will quickly become your favorite go-to piece.

The versatile panel skirt on the right is figure forgiving for those who need a little forgiveness, especially in the tummy area.

And every gal needs a great black leather skirt in her repertoire for those moments when she’s feeling sexy and sassy.

And, this, Ladies, is how you put together a great head to toe look for fall ------

Start with a classic grey wool skirt;

Top it with a burgundy wrap leather jacket;

Add black tights and a trendy pair of black-and-white spectator booties.

Then, top the whole ensemble off with a black vintage cloche hat with a magenta ribbon that gives a great pop of color near your face.

Et voilà! -- Casual chic at its most charming. These pieces are available at H&M.

What makes this outfit work so beautifully is the harmonious use of cool colors and the mix of materials and textures which creates visual interest and movement.

All this has inspired me to take out my burgundy wool pencil skirt from several seasons ago and see if it still fits. But first, I’ll pour myself a glass of Bordeaux. I will either be drinking in celebration or as consolation.

Either way, I agree with Benjamin Franklin who said, “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” And if God wants to see me really happy, my burgundy pencil skirt will still fit.


  1. Great advice and great examples. I love burgundy, being a winter. And from last year I have a burgundy ruffle scarf and burgundy Hue tights that I brought with me to Paris. Wine is such a gorgeous color for leather accessories, too - and lipstick and blush. : )

    Bonjour, M-T! You certainly do have "The French Touch" down pat!

  2. Cynthia, you are absolutely my favor season to work with. I love my winter clients. They allow me to use all those great colors with abandon that I must use sparingly on myself -- a vicarious pleasure!

    And, you are so right about lipstick and blush -- an important part of the perfect ensemble.

  3. Love your choices. Couture is not always practical. Yet your picks are stylish and perfect for every woman.

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  5. Elaine, your comment is truly appreciated.

    Classic style with an edge is what catches my eye, and I look at everything through the prism of how it will look on a real woman with a real body.

    If I can see it working for her, with a few tweaks here and there, it becomes a "pick."

  6. "Chiconomic"...I love it! This post was so much fun to read and full of great tips. This is my favorite time of year, thank you for giving me direction!!!

  7. Winter is your season and burgundy is your color. Wear it in good health.


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