Before I go to Europe this weekend, I want to leave you with some thoughts on how I see this fall looking at retail. These are my impressions and what looked good.
No Color Well, I’m starting off with something that didn’t look so good. In Europe last September, the prevalence of drab and no-color presentations made it very uninteresting to shop, and I think the customer tends to walk right by your assortment when a great color presentation doesn’t grab them. Here this year, it’s about black, grey, more black, brown, beige, more grey, neutrals, and generally the lack of color in the inspirational and contemporary lines/stores. Perhaps there are more and more European lines and designers in our stores now……stateside, we’ve always prided ourselves in having and selling lots of pretty color, and I do think the more moderate departments and presentations have more of a color offering.
No Frills This supports my trend direction in my last blog on this big move toward a more sober, anonymous way of dressing. The use of ruffles is way down already in the designer market—at best a gentle cascading ruffle down one side of the item. But, the clothes were gorgeous using innovative seaming, shaping, mixing, interesting fabrics, engineering and new types of trimming.
Amazing Knits The Missoni collection is breathtaking using yarns and knitting/crochet techniques that are so innovative, dimensional, and totally compelling to touch and feel. So many captivating sweater knits…new textures stitches, yarn combinations. All this fabric, yarn, knit construction innovation is needed as styles are very classic and simple.
Glitz Under Control Finally, not an all-over sequin thing to be seen! There is still sparkle and embellishment, but much more restrained — gold metallic coming from within the weave or knit as part of the fabric/construction. Some sequins, beads, stones, but all well placed and well thought out so the embellishment became part of the design feature. What you choose to use, how much you put, and where you put it will be key.
Big Easy A myriad of enveloping cocoon shapes, especially in knitted fine gauge tops and sweater knits. I love the large easy slouchy style, lots of oversize v-neck tunic sweaters, and tons of great new cardigans to throw on. Of course this is leading us right to all the ponchos and capes for next year.