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Fashion Trends

Fall 2006 Trends

The Red Shoe : Platforms, flats, or in between - A blast of red brightens up the season's grays and blacks.

Leggings : They're back ! Pair them with a narrowed tunic or sweater and ankle boots or flats, or layer under a mini. The look is body-conscious, not bulky. Be sure the tunic is long enough to cover your derriere, or you will look like you forgot to wear pants !

Leopard Print : Take a walk on the wild side, the sophisticated leopard-look has classic staying power when used as an accent . Shoes, bags, scarves, wallets and more will add a touch of animal magnetism.

Knits : A chunky knit is a must-have for Fall/Winter 2006. Sweatercoats, sweaters, turtlenecks, vests, and capes (the poncho is so last year).

Skinny Jeans : The freshest silhouette of the season.s

Menswear : Plaids, houndstooth, checks, and pinstripe fabrics are now dressing the ladies. Keep the plaids on the small side or you will look like you're wearing a blanket.

Vests : Another blast-from-the-past, the vest is back . Fitted or knitted, leather or velvet, utilize a vest to add rich deep color, pattern, and lush fabrics. Have it your way - paired with a tank top or tee, or lace and ruffles, the vest is where your colors shine.

Belts : Wrapped around a coat, sweater, blouse, or tunic, the waistline is covered yet emphasized.

Back To School

* Layering:

For girls - Tees and turtlenecks with jumpers over leggings. striped polos under hoodies worn with minis and leggings. Chunky cardigans, dark-wash skinny jeans, boots, jewelry, scarves, belts, bags, even suspenders. So, what's the key to rocking the layered look without getting overheated and looking like a mummy ? Lighten up your layers !

Play it cool with lightweight fabrics, and don't try to stuff several layers of sleeves into your jacket. You will look puffy instead of sleek and trendy.

For guys - The overall look is slimmed down and leaner. Boot-cut dark-washed and distressed jeans worn with slim-fitting graphic print tees, striped polos, skull prints, hoodies, thermal long-sleeved shirts layerd under short-sleeved polos and tees.

NYC Fashion Week

2/13/06 - Fashion designers made their case and now it's up to the retailers, editors and stylists who attended New York Fashion Week to weigh in on what will be in - or out - in the fall. Of course, the real verdict will be revealed in August and September when ordinary people do their seasonal shopping.

The choices for women likely will include 1970s - and '80s-inspired clothes: skinny pants - even leggings - chunky-knit cardigan coats and fine-knit jersey dresses, shirtdresses, men's-style suits with feminine lace or tie-neck blouses, bow adornments and a lot of black and other somber colors. Pleats and thick belts were all over the runways, while provocative, skin-flashing clothes were not. Coats, many with 3/4-length sleeves and swinging silhouettes, stood out in luxe brocades or soft wools.

Patricia Field, the costume designer for "Sex and the City" and the upcoming movie "The Devil Wears Prada," said the season marked a return of real American looks. "American style is simple, a little utilitarian, strong and outspoken without being too theatrical. We're the ones who wear jeans, T-shirts, trenchcoats and sneakers. It's not only a little casual but also clean and classic," Field said. "We're not from aristocrats, we're from the cowboys and settlers, and that shows in our style."

Field said she particularly liked the unfussy beauty of Ralph Lauren's dark green collection of cashmere outfits, even the leggings, which were a popular look on other catwalks as well. And why not, Field asked, defending the much-maligned tight pants. "They're actually a classic. They're easy and functional. ... If you style them wrong, they look bad, but that's with everything," she said.

Michael Fink, senior fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue, added that leggings can be worn with almost every outfit. On the runways, they were shown under power skirtsuits, with long sweaters and with tough leather jackets.

Menswear-inspired vests also made a comeback, part of the overall move toward embracing fine tailoring for women. "I love the new feminine tailored menswear - the new portrait-collared jackets mixed with a wide, wide pant," Fink said.

One look that might take some getting used to is hosiery with open-toe shoes. For years, women have been told it was a "don't." That rule is bending, according to Glamour executive fashion editor at large Suze Yalof Schwartz. Opaque tights can create a funky, casual look, she said, but sheer pantyhose still is a no-no. "You shouldn't be able to see your toe polish," she advised, and it's not an appropriate look for formal occasions.

Michael Kors' collection of collegiate looks, which seemed rooted in the 1970 film "Love Story," topped Yalof Schwartz's list. She said the clothes were about "looking perfect from head to toe." Meanwhile, Glamour's editor in chief Cindi Leive said many of the trends were extensions of things already doing well in stores. Those include flashes of metallic fabric, lace, skirts, adorned coats and neutral colors. "These are things two or three years ago that would have been considered extreme," Leive said, "but women like wearing that metallic bag or shoe for day, and they've taken to the tulip skirt."

--Samantha Critchell AP Fashion Writer/AP

Warming Trends

2/13/06 - Fashion Week has ended, with its lights and noise and glamour evaporating like a dream, all that's left -- until the clothes arrive in stores in the fall -- are the trends. While different designers' vision of dressing for next winter ranged from blue ball gowns to black leggings, some consistent themes emerged. Among them:

* Sophisticated ladies: Clothes for fall were, in general, more formal and grown-up than we've seen recently: Suits were shown by almost every major designer, and they were structured, tailored suits with a serious feminine edge. Jackets had nipped-in waists and strong shoulders, over full skirts or pants.

* Mad for plaid: Plaid patterns were all over the runways, cut into traditional suits, worked into knits and sometimes even splashed onto silks and satins for evening wear.

* Pump up the volume: Look for skirts that stand away from the body thanks to pleats and poufs of stiff fabric; dresses that incorporate wide skirts, often starting from an empire waist. Even blouses got bigger, ballooning into wide poets' sleeves and bat-wing arms.

* Trouser chic: The wide-legged Katharine Hepburn-esque trouser is a major trend, with a significant minority of designers embracing the super-narrow pant that looks more like a legging under a full top. Only the standard straight-leg pant wasn't seen

.* The new waist: On jackets, dresses, coats and shirts, the waistline moved up -- all the way to the rib cage. After years of hip-hugging styles, the new waistline is right under the bosom, and it's emphasized with a belt.

* Knit wits: Sweaters came on strong, and the most popular style was a big, baggy cardigan that wrapped around the body almost to the knees, in a thick, three-dimensional knit. Think of them as sleeping bags you can wear to the office.

*Heavy metal: Bright, glaring metallics, from tin-foil silver lame to golden beading, were a particularly strong trend for evening wear.

* Grey days ahead: We haven't seen this much gray on the runways in years. It'll be the color of the fall season, followed closely by two other classic neutrals: navy and black. Brighter colors were seen only in splashes, and they were muted: plummy purples, smoky reds, and lots and lots of army green.

* Hats off for hats: Fall will be a season of practical accessories. Thick, warm, dark tights were a runway constant, and the bags that were shown were great big satchels that could hold a weeken''s worth of supplies. Boots were the big footwear statement, and hats -- particularly knit hats, but swanky fedoras too -- were shown by almost every major designer.

--Jenifer D. Braun

The Fall 2006 Collections - In the Spirit of Punk

2/13/06 - Designers delve into the the subversive era of the Sex Pistols for fashion inspiration. When a model at the first ever show of the Karl Lagerfeld labels came out on the runway Friday night wearing a scarf that looked as if it had been attacked by machine-gun fire, it was a shot heard round the fashion world. A revolution was afoot in New York, as darkness fell on the runways and designers abandoned the girlishness of the last few years for a more aggressive stance.

By the end of Fashion Week, several trends had crystallized -layers upon layers, dresses over leggings, sweaters over sweaters; a sober palette; an elongated silhouette characterized by skinny pants or leggings and jackets with elaborate sleeves. But the bigger news was the new mood carried over from last season's Junya Watanabe show in Paris and Yohji Yamamoto's the season before that.

The grunge-glam work wear at Marc Jacobs, the black lipstick and Wednesday Addams dresses at Alice Roi, the military coats and bandaged heads at Alexandre Herchcovitch, the biker jackets at Proenza Schouler and the razor-blade necklaces at Luella Bartley had a subversive spirit recalling the London punk movement of the late '70s and early '80s.

A return to punk fashion has been bubbling under for some time -in the sharp crystal studding in Yamamoto's fall 2005 collection, the spiky mohawk hairstyles at Watanabe, and on the streets in the growing popularity of Sex Pistols and Misfits tees.

Lagerfeld broke it down for the masses at his dark-hued show, mixing pieces on the runway from his Karl Lagerfeld contemporary line ($95 for a T-shirt to $995 for coats) with his more expensive Lagerfeld Collection (about $200 to $2,500). The collection was an angry march, with lots of layering - a boxy black wool side-button jacket over a shawl-collar T-shirt and twisted-seam skirt, a holey scarf over a sheer wool henley shirt and wide-leg pants. Add to that stringy fur cuffs and swashbuckling suede boots and Lagerfeld's girls had some serious attitude.Black trench coats were slouchy and cool, and cashmere sweaters came pilled, as if they were already world-weary.

A cavalry-style coat dress was well-suited to an urban warrior, as were abstracted black and brown camouflage pants. Horsehair-fringe cardigan coats were fierce, while an elongated sleeveless button-front jacket, worn over a long flared skirt, was in line with this season's new silhouette. And for the price, a black silk Empire dress with a draped and gathered collar and a pieced-together boiled-wool sweater dress with a bubble hem and bell sleeves were heavy on design.

A similar sexiness and aggression were evident in Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez's Proenza Schouler collection. Color blocking was a constant on a straight-and-narrow black felt pencil skirt and silk chiffon button-down, and on shift dresses with Cy Twombly scribble, all worn with opaque tights and ankle boots. The volume was turned up slightly on fabulous biker-styled A-line coats in brown leather or black felt, offset by skinny leggings or skirts with flared hems.

Zippers were the ornamentation of choice on a copper lace shell, worn with skinny magenta velvet pants, and on a moss green lace skirt, topped with a simple black chiffon blouse. There was even a pair of zippered leather pants.

-- Booth Moore

Fall Fashion Week

2/08/06 - New York Fashion Week has so far been filled with mini trends - skinny pants, shirred sleeves, skirt suits and shirtdresses, among them - but nothing to fuel a major upheaval. It's been a parade of mostly wearable clothes, particularly for the working woman.

The portrait collar, the boatneck, the cowl, and touches of the immaculately tailored '50s are growing trends as Fashion Week reached its midpoint.

Marc Jacobs, who did cowls his own way, returned to his roots with somber, street-wise urchins in layered urban hues of putty, asphalt, olive and brown. Oscar De la Renta brought back bracelet sleeves from the '50s, as well as lots of variations on portrait, shawl and cowl collars, and Carolina Herrera showed boatnecks, boxy jackets and straight skirts, inspired by Claudia Cardinale and Jeanne Moreau.

Marc by Marc Jacobs: Simply known as Marc, this collection targets a slightly younger customer than the Marc Jacobs label. Jacob's vision for this hipster was bohemian-meets-military, with muted colors in charcoal, rose and blue.

Narciso Rodriguez: Rodriguez kept almost entirely to black and white, emphasizing simplicity and sophistication. The coats were a surprising strength of this collection. A sleeveless black heavy coat was belted at the waist and worn over super-skinny pants, and a loose pink wool coat and a silver collarless coat were standouts. Cocktail dresses had an unusual embellishment: pieces of plastic, llooking like sequins or paillettes.

Peter Som: Som's fashion story was told almost entirely in black and white. Not that the clothes were boring - a slim pantsuit has a subtle shimmer for the woman who wants to be noticed at that business meeting. A fitted tuxedo was done in unexpected winter white.

Nanette Lepore: Lepore is known for her attention to feminine detailing. Intricate beadwork on chiffon dresses to billowing sleeves and flirty ruffles on plaid wool skirts and dresses. Coats, with 3/4-length sleeves and swinging bottoms, were a highlight. Prints and black velvet were strong, but red was the color for the collection. "Red was gone for a while, but we felt it coming back and now we've used it all over," Lepore said. Her new shoe line included slingbacks and wedges in velvet and knee-high wedge boots in red and gray.

Michael Kors: Kors opened the show with a long navy and maroon rugby-stripe dress worn with a navy duffle coat, and closed with a breezy chiffon halter gown adorned with loops of crystals. In between, he showed a short-sleeve blouse and skirt in dark green tartan plaid, a popular print, and a green chiffon paisley scarf skirt with a dark brown leather jacket that already looked broken in.

The skinny stretch jean tucked into boots and paired with a navy sweater coat was the rare sighting of denim on the runway. Kors did, however, touch on other trends, including tie-neck blouses, chunky knits and knickers. Some designers touted knickers as part of a working woman's wardrobe.

Fall Fashion Week

2/05/06 - The fall collections previewed Sunday at New York Fashion Week featured a dark, rich color palette, including burgundy, gray, bottle green, black and cognac instead of the brighter yellows, golds and oranges that usually usher in the season.

Skinny pants, and clothes that are either shiny or slightly shabby, were among the early trends for fall at New York Fashion Week. Metallic fabrics replaced the beading that has been popular for several seasons, while distressed leathers, especially in military-inspired garments, looked modern and worn-in at the same time.

Fabric - Winter 2006/07

Several directions for Winter 2006/2007 in fabric development for apparel. The looks concentrate on three distinct looks, which can be defined as obscuring, magnifying and elaborating.

From a design standpoint fabric becomes a key focus. While clothing shapes return in simplicity the colors and materials used will help define the newness and interest. We continue to see the mixture of natural mixed with technical both in fiber development and in construction. There will be a return to using heavier weight woolens, brushed finishes and double layered knitwear. In addition there is an influence from old master paintings and haute couture for a more opulent and fantasy approach utilizing ornamented details.

Look for:

- Creased shrunken leather

- Washed velvet

- Wool velour

- Double layered pointelle knits

- Fake horse, cat and lamb fur

- Cashmere mixed with alpaca for brocades

- Coarse weight cotton twill

- Rigid finishing treatments of coal dusting, waxing or oiling

- Crunchy silks and springy crepes

- Multi layered voile and chiffon


Spring 2006

* Pretty Baby - Romance is in the air, and for spring it takes shape in ethereal confections in white cotton and lace, accented with crocheted and embroidered details. You'll shine in a beautifully embellished Victorian-inspired blouse, which you'll pair with everything from jeans to work suits. Take it a step further and go for the beauty of a romantic white dress made modern in a sleek chemise or shirtdress style. But remember, a little goes a long way ... pick up one or two romantic white pieces and keep all other accessories to a minimum.

* Wild Child - The flip side of the "Pretty Baby" romantic trend is the "Wild Child" girl all dressed in black. This rock chic look is a fun mix of skull and crossbones motifs worn with jeans and black lace.

* Neutral - Spring's sleek and polished neutral trend offers a nice counterbalance to all that romantic white (although - the two trends do work well together). Get the look by mixing the key pieces - a shirt, a slim sweater, a jacket, a pair of shorts and a pleated skirt - in varying neutral tones ranging from khaki to tan to brown to olive, spiced with pale yellow and leaf green. Then luxe it up with your choice of fabulous accessories in rich brown leather or trendy metallic gold.

Must-have neutral pieces for the spring season include a wide, waist-cinching belt in tan or brown (wear it over dresses as well as with separates) and a pair of chic brown leather sandals with stacked wooden heels.

* Dresses - The dress reigns supreme. Romantic, ruffled dresses in cotton and lace, sleek wrap dresses in silk jersey geometric prints, mod '60s-inspired shifts in bright color clashes, professional shirtdresses in khaki cotton twill, baby doll dresses in layers of silk charmeuse, printed floral dresses, and more.

Just about every spring dress style will look new and modern with a "heavier" shoe like a stacked-heel sandal or a wedge. No stilettos.

* Nautical - Think sportswear with a nautical twist. Start with the navy captain's jacket, add a crisp white shirt, a striped tee in red/white or blue/white or a polo shirt. Pair with a skirt or shorts. Relax the look with cropped khakis or jeans, a leather/rope belt and summer espadrilles. Accessorize with either a bold metallic gold leather in a wide belt or a woven handbag, or shiny patent leather in red, blue, white or black.

* Western - The Western trend is still around. Focus on key items: the Western-inspired shirt, the flouncy prairie skirt, the denim gaucho and anything in vintage patchwork. Pair individual pieces in unexpected ways, don't wear Western head-to-toe.

--Judy Gordon is a New York-based style consultant and the "Today" show's style editor.

At NY shows, Fashion Plays it Safe for Spring 2006

Spring will look a lot like fall, if designers have their way, as they aim to appeal to shoppers who want a sure thing amid uncertainties ranging from gasoline prices to the war in Iraq. Consumers will have to do more with less, as trends from recent seasons such as cropped jackets, trench coats, ruffles and metallic accents appeared on the runways at Fashion Week, which featured nearly 200 designer shows.

"There is an element of wardrobe building as opposed to throwing everything out from last season," said Nicki Gondell, president of Trend House, a fashion forecasting firm. "In an economic climate like this, people are not as willing to start from scratch every season," Gondell said.

Tailored jackets and suits will be on racks, a continuation of what experts see as a conservative and cautious political and economic mood in America.

Silhouettes were soft, including for example high, empire waists. There were plenty of belts, perhaps signaling a long-anticipated end to exposed midriffs. "For the last couple of years, we've had a lot of belly button-revealing looks," said Wendy Liebmann, president of WSL Strategic Retail. "Now we're going to see a more fitted silhouette, and more belting."

Newcomer Doo Ri used crystals as embellishment, Project Alabama showed beadwork and Y & Kei models sported lots of long necklaces. "It's sparkly, and I think from the time we are 5-year-old girls, we love sparkly," said Joan Kaner, senior vice president and women's fashion director of Neiman Marcus. "I don't think we ever grow out of it.

."Oscar de la Renta unveiled elaborate embroideries on his designs for spring 2006. His collection included a black ballgown covered with white flowers that looked as if each petal were a unique design. Another look was a champagne-colored tulle embroidered gown with slightly misshapen paillettes that picked up the light. A feather jacket over a dainty taupe chiffon scarf-neck gown also was a new twist.

Carolina Herrera previewed a collection that was as crisp as the radishes - yes, radishes - featured in many of her embroideries and prints. Herrera said she used prints, which also included polka dots and oversized dark flowers, to create visual excitement. Other spring trends embraced by Herrera during her runway show were higher waists and thick belts, especially on long dresses.

A woman of any age could wear the white cotton shirt and black-and-white floral flat-front pants that sit at the natural waistline, and the same is true of a beige-and-blue wool shift with an applique of hand- painted flowers under the bust. "It's a strong departure for her," said Hal Rubenstein, fashion director of InStyle magazine. "She's always done pretty, but there is a strong element of craft and craftsmanship."

Many of the looks shown were "wearable", a buzzword on the runways this season.

Trends 2006

Look for small to be the next big thing for fashion in the new year

The biggest fashion trends of 2005 were ... big. Celebs sported huge sunglasses. Giant jewelry and ultra-wide belts were also big.

Will things be just as over-the-top in '06? Steven Putt, regional spokesperson for Saks Fifth Avenue, says no. "Less is more," he says when describing the overall trends in clothing, shoes and accessories. "You can throw in one big bag to throw things off, keep it fun. But it's a cleaner look."

Some hot items making a comeback for the ladies this spring include flats, wedge heels, longer skirts, empire-waisted dresses and tops as well as soft, unstructured hobo bags. Must-have menswear looks range from fitted shirts with shorter, tighter sleeves to leather sneaks. The emphasis is on simple shapes and minimal detail.

Here's a look at what's ahead for 2006, and the things to leave behind in 2005



- The "Safarmi" jacket ( safari + army )

- V-neck sweater with a retro knit pattern over a white shirt

- T-shirt or polo with tight, short sleeves

- Dressy perforated sneaker with dress pants at work

- Button-down shirts with detail

- French cuffs

- Lighter-wash denim

- Velvet blazer


- Baggy T-shirt

- Being too matchy-matchy at work

- A closet full of plain dress shirts



- Smaller frames for sunglasses

- Red lipstick

- Belts

- Hobo bags with minimal detail

- Long shorts cut just above the knee

- Dresses and tops with an empire waist

- Flats and wedge heels. Flip-Flops still HOT

- Higher waist jeans


- Giant sunglasses

- Big belts with loads of grommets and sparkle

- The hyper-embellished bag

- Daisy Dukes

- Purple lipstick

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