Washed-out colors and ombré blurs provide a gentle artisanal mood for Fall. Bleached surfaces, dip-dyes, tie-dyes, acid-washed pigments and painted effects are used for everything from sturdy cotton outerwear and denim to over-dyed plaids and delicate silk lounge pants. There are even floral motifs printed in a tonal palette to give a “faux” dip-dye look.
Statement coats rule the runways this season. In both Pre-Fall and Fall collections, the roomy outerwear piece emerges as a key item for both men and women. Long, almost-ankle lengths emphasize X-large proportions, but there are also knee-skimming versions in boxy silhouettes. Bright colors, abstract prints or chunky corduroys give it a novel, contemporary feel; dark neutrals or menswear tweeds make it a timeless classic. A chunky scarf, sturdy belt and low-heeled or flat footwear finish the look.
Mock or turtleneck pullovers are becoming the new ‘it’ accessory. Layering thin knits under dresses, sweatshirts and light jackets creates a Mod-retro yet contemporary look for next Fall. This versatile base-layer can provide a bright contrast pop, or can be in a similar hue as other pieces for a subtle tonal effect. Details like cropped or slit hemlines, flared sleeves and dimensional ribs freshen up the basic item.
Activewear meets city chic in the Pre-Fall collections. Sporty styles mix with skirts and sleek footwear to create a work-or-weekend ensemble. Comfort is no longer at the heart of the activewear movement. Now, it’s about adding bomber jackets to a romantic look or replacing track bottoms with a pencil skirt. The unexpected combination of the two styles produces a versatile balance of casual and polished.
Furry feet are walking all over Pre-Fall (pun intended). Slippers, sandals, mules, and high heels add a cozy yet chic feel to any ensemble. Neutrals like shearling beige or ivory plush add a natural note, but brights or pastels work too. This playful footwear works with any ensemble, from flowy dresses to distressed denim to tailored looks.
Chinoiserie prints and exotic animal motifs make a powerful statement on the runway this fall. Silk dresses or leather jackets are the perfect foundation for dragon embroideries or appliqués. There is even a dragon-shaped handle for a stylized pair of lorgnette sunglasses. Cheongsam styling, cherry blossom prints, kimonos and silky lacquer red pajamas underline the eastern theme — just in time for Chinese New Year.
Plaids rule the pre-fall collections and are already showing up on men’s fall 18 runways. All kinds of plaids work: tartans, buffalo checks, tiny gun-checks, Prince-of-Wales layouts, box plaids, blanket plaids and more. Large-scaled versions look especially right, often ensembled with clashing or contrasting layers for a plaid-on-plaid effect. The pattern, which can go mid-century classic, 80s punk or 90s grunge, is used for bags, hats, socks and footwear as well.
Teddy bear fleece warms up Pre-Fall and Fall runways, and not just for coats. Plush pile fabrics are right for all markets, whether for a chic cream-colored topper for the classic customer, contemporary bomber jackets edged in striped rib-knit trims, or junior-friendly sweatshirts. The fleece also is used for facing and trims for the season’s must-have big plaids, for the all-important shearling look.
Sometimes it’s not about the color itself, but about the combination. For next Pre-Fall and Fall, solid-color separates in saturated mid-tones like red-orange, teal and forest green are set against items in pales or brights like lilac, light blue or yellow; cosmetic tones or camels add a neutral note. Each item in the ensemble — tops, sweaters, scarves, legwear, shoes — are in a different color or tone, creating an artful head-to-toe palette.
Textured tweeds are showing up all over Pre-Fall. Nubbly yarns and color-flecked weaves work for dresses, suits, outerwear and even pants. Leather-bound edges or frayed raw-cut edges finish. A new generation is drawn to the classic Chanel suit, made young this season with cargo pockets, patent trims, contrast arms or witty printed versions.