Fall tips from stylist Haidee Findlay-Levin (part one of three)...
Everywhere I looked at the fall collections I saw fur, leather, skins and hides—from black fur stoles and cuffs at Lanvin
to a tunic covered in camouflage tails at Louis Vuitton
and a massive fur cardigan coat from Ann Demeulemeester
. The prefur
red color is blue from Dries Van Noten
(left) or Anne Valérie Hash
, but if blue isn't your thing, look no further than Marni
for a dusty-pink cropped chubby. Exotic furs not for you? You can still discover your inner beast with Mongolian sheepskin sleeves from Toga
or a lavender Mongolian sheepskin jacket from Ann Demeulemeester
, as well as crocodile-skin dresses at Zucca
and leather-front dresses and jackets at Yohji Yamamoto
with the hide's raw edges still intact. Feathers, too, stalked the runways, starting with an asymmetric collar trimmed with the lightest of ostrich plumes at Haider Ackermann
and ending with a slightly tougher black ostrich-feather skirt from Christian Lacroix
. Meanwhile, pony skin was a favorite at Anne Valérie Hash
, superbly cut into body-skimming turtlenecks and a jumpsuit variation.
GIVE IN TO COLOR
It's all about pastels for fall. My sights are set on mint green and powder blue cashmere, molten wool and duchess satin at Louis Vuitton
. Choose from an exquisite bell-shaped blue skirt, a magnificently tailored jacket with perfectly rounded edges, a liquid silk blouse or a full-on, floor-length, positively regal evening gown, if you have the occasion for it. Marc Jacobs
' own line, too, was full of the softest pastels. Vanessa Bruno
, meanwhile, showed a variety of pastels in full Mongolian sheepskin hats combed out and looking like a well-conditioned punk hairdo. But best from her were the palest of antique pink and sage green marabou chubbies, the color and lightness of a butterfly's wings.
MAKE IT MOHAIR
Bundle up in hand-knit ruffled capelets and shrugs from Tao Comme des Garçons
(left) in vivid shades of pink and violet, while contrasting them with blue mohair bloomers. Or keep it neutral in natural or black and wear one of her cake-layered cable dresses. If volumes of ruffles and cables aren't for you, indulge your punk side with the designer's multicolored mohair knit/silk-backed tunic tops or dresses. That is, if you haven't already indulged in Rodarte
's wonderful colored mohair knit tops and bell skirts. Don’t stop until you have their mohair open-knit stockings, the best hosiery moment of the season.
SHOE AND TELL
Laddered mohair stockings wouldn't be complete without those white or rose gold studded and spiked high heels that Christian Louboutin
designed for Rodarte
. They can do damage! But the next wonder of the world might just be the black leather heelless thigh-highs from Antonio Berardi
, a sexy homage to artist Alan Jones, whose glass tabletops rested on the back of a girl on all fours—perhaps a safer way to wear them! I was a little surprised that Louis Vuitton
showed such dangerously high wedges after last season’s more reasonable winklepicker inspiration. But on closer examination, I realized there was a sliver of light passing through some of them and that there were, in fact, skinny skyscraper in the heels. Fantastic! I also loved the strength and sculptural quality in the Brancusi-looking white heels at Miu Miu
. Especially when worn in sharp contrast to the minimal clothes of the collection, they could really be one of the key accessories of fall.
If you're more about bags than shoes, make it a clutch. I'm not just talking evening bag clutches, but huge leather envelopes from Dries Van Noten
worn throughout the day. Although not as large as the house's oversized collars, Maison Martin Margiela
also showed a massive clutches (left), as did Véronique Leroy
in both her own collection and Leonard
. These clutches, of course, were fantastic printed versions.
MIX YOUR MESSAGES
The intricately printed latex dresses at Balenciaga
are another way to satisfy your fetishistic side—and without dressing, predictably, in all black. Dries Van Noten
's continuation of vivid and bold floral prints was big hit, particularly the pod-sleeved column dresses, although his abstract print trouser suits were also spectacular. If you prefer tiny rather than bold prints, you can't ignore his floor-length Fortuny-pleated dresses or the high-necked cap-sleeved dress completely covered in tiny printed ruffles.
Labels: Ann Demeulemeester, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, Haidee Findlay-Levin, Haider Ackermann, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Martin Margiela, Miu Miu, Paris Fashion Week, Rodarte, Tao Comme des Garçons