What She Wants

From Asymmetry to Zoo Animals: The A to Z of Fall Fashion Trends

From classic autumn fare to breakout styles, these are the fashion trends you need to know for fall.
IMAGE MARIANE PEREZ, COURTESY OF MARKS AND SPENCER, VERSACE
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A is for Asymmetry

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Exuding insouciance with necklines that fall precariously off the shoulder, or off-kilter splendor courtesy of tailoring with a twist, asymmetry is shaping up to be one of fall’s hottest trends. It’s extremely flattering in flowy maxi dresses with an almost Grecian vibe, but its most impressive incarnations are the ensembles that combine both fluid draping and masterful cutting. Creative, edgy and full of verve, you’re sure to stand out from the crowd.

B is for Baby Bags

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Never underestimate the power of cute, as evidenced by this season’s bevy of teeny-tiny bags, with the most diminutive of them all, Jacquemus’ Mini Le Chiquito, creating the biggest impact. These two-inch-high totes were seen dangling from models’ fingers, and eventually, every influencer’s feed. Thus giving rise to a meme-worthy moment in fashion. But if, like the most of us, you need to carry more than one AirPod, then the slightly bigger, but still pint-sized offerings at Versace, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, and Salvatore Ferragamo will surely fulfill your fix of this adorable trend. 

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C is for Capes

Nothing brings on the drama more than a cape, which is clearly establishing itself as this season’s outerwear of choice. Chanel took the uptown route with a capelet in pink tweed, Marc Jacobs rendered it in tartan and plaid, while Erdem and Richard Quinn gave it a touch of romance in luxe fabrications and statement florals. If you’re looking for something more classic in camel though, then the runways of Celine by Hedi Slimane, Burberry, and Chloe are replete with inspiration.

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D is for Dark Florals 

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There’s nothing like a dark, romantic floral to get us in the mood and this season’s offerings are nothing short of spectacular. They were masterfully opulent at Dolce and Gabbana and Prada, with the latter doing us all one better by embellishing skirts and dresses with three-dimensional satin blooms as well. Miu Miu, Rodarte, Dries Van Noten, and Givenchy on the other hand, crafted delicately, dark florals into must-have feminine silhouettes. With so many gorgeous botanicals on offer, your wardrobe is sure to blossom well into spring.  

E is for Exotic

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Coveted by the most discerning, exotic skin handbags are the ultimate in arm candy. And what could be more decadent than one that’s immaculately crafted by the artisans of Louis Vuitton in exquisite croc skin or sexy metallic python? Their gorgeous patterns, vibrant hues, and fine finish convey an inimitable sense of luxury that will finish off any outfit with style. The clincher is, of course, their bespoke option, where one can choose from more than two dozen colors, and a variety of shapes and hardware finishes, to create the bag of one’s dreams. Thus making an already rare acquisition all the more divine.

F is for Feathers

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Fashion is all aflutter with posh plumage adorning everything from ball gowns at Oscar de la Renta, to pantsuits at Anna Sui. They were subtle and sublime at Valentino and Roksanda on floaty, translucent dresses, but showed off their true colors in multi-hued wonders at Mary Katrantzou and Prabal Gurung. Feathers are clearly Fall’s embellishment of choice, adding that little bit of something to the season’s standout looks. And if our current obsession is anything to go by, then it’s safe to say that the ‘plume boom’ has only just begun.

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G is for Gold

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With everything from ball gowns to brocade suits shimmering with 24-karat shine, it seems everything that’s glittering this season is indeed gold. Ralph Lauren and Brock Collection took this to heart, hammering out highly metallic dresses and gowns for the most spectacular of soirees. Equally eye-catching were the metallic velvets seen at Ulla Johnson, the shiny pleats at Altuzarra,  and the knits of Missoni, giving this gold trend a soigné touch. Of course, if you don’t want to don the look from head-to-toe, a few choice accessories will surely to do the trick.

H is for Hair Accessories

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We don’t need to tell you that hair accessories are in. Your Instagram feeds are doing that for us. From embellished headbands, to the most shimmery crystal barrettes, our obsession with the girly accoutrements of our youth is clearly as its peak. Alessandra Rich’s feathered finery and Simone Rocha’s pearl and jeweled stunners are clear favorites, giving these accents a much-needed couture spin. But if you’re searching for something grown-up for daytime, then stock up on padded headbands a la Kate Middleton, whose penchant for these tiara-adjacent accents is giving us all princess vibes.

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I is for Insouciant Suiting

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Power dressing has taken a cozy turn for fall, with suits conveying a languorous luxury at  Gucci, Saint Laurent and The Row. Blazers were slightly oversized but cinched at the waist, as was the case at Givenchy; and at Chanel, where a louche pantsuit in ivory was shaped nonchalantly with a pearl chain. Should you prefer relaxed but androgynous fare, take your cues from the menswear-inspired looks of Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, and Giorgio Armani.

J is for Jacquard

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Sumptuous with their intricate patterns and regal motifs, metallic jacquards are making quite an impression this season fashioned into full-skirted looks at Erdem, cocktail dresses at Oscar de la Renta, and modern separates at Prabal Gurung. The rich textile adds an opulent touch to any ensemble and really holds its own, looking just as fetching as a grand ballgown perfect for any society swan, or as a tailored blazer for a style-setter with a taste for the eclectic.

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K is for Keeping Tradition Alive

Photo by COURTESY OF MARKS AND SPENCER.

Heritage fabrics are once again at the forefront of the fashion zeitgeist, with tactile tweeds and bouclés spotted at Chanel, and plaids of every permutation at Celine, Lanvin, and Burberry and the like. Checkered blazers, tartan skirts, and windowpane check coats all got their time on the runway and showed us how one standout piece can really pull one’s outfit together.  But if you’re craving for more, mixing prints of varying proportions are a great way to really embrace the trend, as did the sophisticated ensembles seen on the catwalks of Max Mara and Christian Dior.

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L is for Lace

Lace has always been a perennial sight on Fall runways, but this season’s take marries its quintessential grace with a little bit of grunge. Alexander McQueen’s lace gowns came replete with leather and an edgy sheerness, while Prada had luscious Chantilly artistically draped over low-cut cocktail fare. There’s a subversive air that’s floating about, and it’s making us all giddy.  Paired on the catwalks with combat boots, the message is clearly reinvention. Surely, these are not your grandma’s lace dresses.

M is for Millennial Purple

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look 4 from our fall 2019 runway show, featuring the romy top handle and morley tote. ?? #nyfw #loveinspades

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While ‘millennial pink’ definitely had its moment, this season’s color du jour is one very closely associated with royalty. If runways are any indication, shades of purple are giving rosy hues a run for their money appearing in all its monochrome glory in everything from dresses, to suits, to evening gowns. Looks were modern, yet soft in lilacs and lavenders in Cushnie, Tibi, and Sally La Pointe. Rich amethyst tones, on the other hand, dominated at Lanvin, Christian Siriano, and Michael Kors. If you’re looking for an unexpected color to elevate your looks for fall, then these gorgeous grapes are just the thing.

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N is for Neon

Who would’ve thought fluorescent hues had a place in high fashion? Cut into smart suits and covetable dresses, this season’s brights are proving to be quite sophisticated. Sies Marjan’s sculpted neon pantsuit, Jacquemus’ bright pink coat, Rodarte’s ruffled lime ballgown, and Versace’s shiny minis were all standouts of the season and showed off how versatile and wearable these glow-in-the-dark colors can be. Paired with neutrals like beige or black, or in one statement accessory, they’re sure to add zing to any look.

O is for Over-The-Top Gowns

Taking the maximalist, over-the-top route, designers are taking it up a notch, concocting voluminous gowns in all manner of fabrications just in time for party season. This isn’t your traditional princess fare, though, as exhibited by the creative silhouettes and exaggerated proportions reminiscent of the Met Gala’s most recent exhibition on Camp. If you’re ever in search of a way to make a grand entrance, these fluffy stunners are sure to make a memorable impression.

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P is for Period Pieces

There were a lot of ladylike looks sashaying down the runways this season, with designers taking us back to many stylish moments in time. Regency-inspired looks with low, rounded necklines at Emilia Wickstead and Simone Rocha and Preen exuded a quiet grace that could make Jane Austen swoon. Victorian ruffled collars, on the other hand, were giving us a serious case of nostalgia at Brock Collection and Chloe. And if you’re up for some modern takes on corsetry, the looks at Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, and Dion Lee will not disappoint. 

Q is for Quilting

Each season we get a few looks that aren’t part of the usual roster, and this Fall, designers are experimenting with all things crafty and folksy. Patchwork tweed at Oscar de la Renta, sewed-together leather at Michael Kors, and mixed-print ensembles at Etro all paid homage to the rich tradition of quilting to amazing effect. Plus, if you’re looking for a new way to do sustainable fashion, this homespun trend could definitely be the way to go.

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R is for Ruffles

Why have one ruffle when you can have two or even a few dozen as in the case of the ruffled ballgowns at Rodarte or the tiered flounces at Brock Collection? Clearly, this season, more is more when it comes to this frou-frou detail. Valentino used it to amazing effect, layering sheer chiffon ruffles that danced as the models walked, while Erdem and Roksanda both used this detail it to finish off the hems of their gorgeous dresses. Be it a cacophony of graceful flounces or just one statement ruffle, they’re sure to give any look a good dose of feminine charm. 

S is for Statement Sleeves

Fashion’s obsession with voluminous sleeves, which began in the spring, is showing no signs of slowing down for Fall. Designers such as Alexander McQueen and Isabel Marant used them to add a dramatic touch to tailored fare, while the off-shoulder look gets an update via puff sleeves at Marc Jacobs. For a vintage spin, try softly draped leg of mutton sleeves like those seen at Ulla Johnson and Tory Burch. But of course, the pinnacle of this trend should be none other than the elegant butterfly sleeves of our very own terno, and its many modern interpretations. 

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T is for Tulle

Tulle isn’t just for ballerinas, and Fall’s many glamorous iterations are proof of that. This sheer favorite is best enjoyed in all its couture glory, piled up into frothy frocks by the likes of Giambattista Valli and Molly Goddard. Take it from all the gorgeous celebrities who have floated down red carpets in beautiful tulle ball gowns, earning them best-dressed nods in the process. But you don’t need yards of tulle to make fairytale dreams come true. In translucent layers, draped close to the body, they’re a delightful choice for modern eveningwear. 

U is for Utilitarian

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Comfortable and chic, the utilitarian trend is clearly everyone’s go-to off duty look for Fall. Think cargo pants, boiler suits, and bomber jackets, but make it fashion. Extra points for nifty details like patch pockets, drawstring waists and exposed zippers that combine aesthetics with function.

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V is for Vacation Style

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We’re all made richer by our travels, which is why it’s become a beautiful addiction for many. Indulging in one’s wanderlust, exploring the world at one’s own pace is the true definition of luxury, one that Longchamp’s La Voyageuse collection understands. Designed for the elegant woman who is just at home in a bustling metropolis as she is wandering through the quaint streets of Paris, the totes are the perfect accompaniment to one’s next vacation. Versatile enough to take on the plane, but with a timeless quality that exudes sophistication wherever one may go, these bags were crafted for the consummate global jetsetter.

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W is for Willowy Pastels

In delicious shades of pistachio, cornflower blue, apricot, and canary, powdery pastels are fast becoming the new neutral. Mixed in with undertones of gray or beige, this season’s in-between hues are muted and modern, seemingly dosed with a nice retro filter. Appearing in softly tailored separates, chic dresses, luxe satin slips and much more, they’re a well-considered departure from the saccharine colors of the past. With its undeniable appeal, expect this dusky palette to trickle into other fields of design as well.

X is for X-Ray Dresses

Overtly sexy but soft and romantic as well, sheer floaty numbers were a welcome respite amidst the heavy fabrics of Fall. Gossamer dresses floated down the runways showing off slivers of gorgeous lingerie underneath. Chiffon and tulle gowns were resplendent at Valentino, while black dotted tulle was the fabric of choice for Balmain’s and Alberta Ferretti’s edgy girls. And just in case it gets cold out, they look just as fetching layered under any one of this season’s statement jackets and coats.

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Y is for Yarns

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What is fall without a few gorgeous knits thrown into the sartorial mix? They’re cozy, laidback, and perfect for the remaining cooler months we can somehow classify as snuggle weather. Be it the reimagined argyle and Fair Isle sweaters at Altuzarra and Preen, the classic outerwear at Bottega Veneta and Chloe, or the elegant dresses at J.W. Anderson and Stella McCartney, there’s clearly a knit for everyone. 

Z is for Zoo Animals

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It’s a jungle out there, with a whole herd of animal prints appearing on all of our favorite runways. Express your feline charms in a sexy leopard print stunner like the models of Dolce and Gabbana and Zimmermann, or take a walk on the wild side with something in python inspired by the offerings at Roberto Cavalli. Graphic zebra and tiger stripes, on the other hand, are the perfect way to imbue your neutrals with animal instinct. It’s a rich, and opulent trend that easily makes a statement, so it’s no surprise these patterns have taken over the season.  But then again, if you’re new to the game, tortoise-shell bags and sunglasses are a great place to start.

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