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NEW YORK FASHION WEEK kicked off with all the sound and fury of a Dixieland band funeral.  There was music playing, models sashaying, designs on display, and accessories front and center stage.  Everywhere in the Big Apple, things were happening, fabulous new lines were introduced with theatrics and flair as designers bowed and accepted kudos by the score. 

   –A bad economy?  Things are bad in moneyland?  Well, Fed chief Bernanke said last week that the recession “is probably over,” and that’s how everybody was acting, albeit with fingers crossed behind their backs.


Sophisticated femininity is how one industry publication described Jason Wu’s collection for Spring 2010.   The clothes reflected a touch of the Forties, a bit of the impossible (a bubble look) and a palette of fresh, refined colors and combinations, like a grey mini skirt with a loose weave high-yellow sweater set. 


Wu worked with big, cats eye sunglasses, platform heels, interesting hair accessories and simple, disc earrings.  Tuxedo looks from Rag & Bone were svelte and severe.  An impressionistic floral print mini skirt from Leifsdottir featured a see-through black blouse and skinny black belt. 


                                            Color Fantastics


LUCA LUCA SHOWED exuberant colors like a wonderful teal evening dress with low cut bodice leaving plenty of room for a marvelous multi-strand beaded choker with big cut-out disc pendant.  Ideeen was hot and edgy with white slacks and top worn under a white man-tailored smoking jacket.   Shown with the look:  an African inspired choker with green chain and crystal drop offs.  Different.


On one runway we were impressed by a big, bulbous pave cuff bracelet.  Also charming was a flirty ruffle front chiffon white dress with a very soft, military-inspired over-jacket in khaki, this from Cynthia Steffe.  A ruffled blue taffeta short skirt from Ruffian, worn with a tailored white short jacket, was also a delight!  Both underlined a very youthful, lighthearted fashion look coming through from a number of top houses.


COLOR WAS A DOMINANT FACTOR in the designers showing so far. So were strong color combinations and mixes:  yellow with green, blue with pink.  Some of the major trends picked up include: 

     Skinny ribbon belts.  Flowers. Gossamer and see-through fabrics.  Architectural lines. Clean, 1980s graphics. Ruffles.  Medium to wide bracelets worn in multiples. Egyptian elements. Layering.  Little beads worn in multi-strands to effect a heavy, dramatic look.  Large sunglasses and the return of cats-eye designs, only now set on large frames. Oxidized copper. Gold, in profusion. Satiny metallic greys.







                                        Pieces of Shine


Elie Tahari added her voice to the yellow push, with a bright full little dress pulled in at the waist with a ribbon belt.  He topped it all off with a somewhat floppy tan helmet hat featuring a wide tan satin hat band. That “strips of satin” look was repeated at a number of designer show places.  Prabal Gurung used strips of satin at the shoulder,

wrist, and waist of his black and grey suit.



SCARVES WERE ALSO HOT in New York.  Ports 1961 showed a heavily draped soft silk dress with very broad shoulders accessorized by a long accordion-like cut out scarf just hanging down the front. 

    –The long straight line hanging down was something to note.  It might be a necklace, a scarf, even hair, but the final impression was the same.



Shiny metallic handbags remained important this year, but now the bags tend to be smaller, in general.  Tommy Hilfiger, for example, showed a charming silvery bag that was just a small pouch on metallic handle straps.  The hip designer also went wild with bracelets:  wide, multiple bracelets, many striped, in a bevy of bright colors, worn on both arms.  Wow!


Many of the design offerings were unabashedly feminine and gentle.  Hair accessories played a big part in the finished look, although they were not the big, wild constructions of recent seasons, but more like little flowers and puffs of fabric.  Diane von Furstenberg also used very bright, striped, wide cuff bracelets, pairing them with pretty yellow print mini dresses.  Dark wood-like bangle bracelets, fairly wide, were worn in multiples at Vera Cava.  More multiple bracelet looks could be found at Michael Angel, this time shown with a broad shouldered, cap sleeved, very short floral print dress. 







                                      Long Statement Necklaces


STATEMENT NECKLACES were important, running from chokers to medium length to very, very long.  As always, a 1920s flair came through in large brimmed white hats, long chiffon skirts and little black and white striped jacket-blouses, all in a Kentucky Derby mode.

   –This gracious Southern-lady look never leaves fashion completely, a major plus for the industry.  One more light and ladylike item at the runway shows:  White nail polish.  Clean!


Handbags were not as prominent as they have been recently; still, a number of models carried smart little clutch bags, slightly larger than a woman’s wallet.  Glitz was played down, but present.  Sequins were hot, even veering into such offbeat places as shoes.  Cording extended itself from necklaces to belts, where it took on a kind of macramé look.  


A fascinating accessory look was on display at Reen Acra, where a model wore two very different necklaces together.  One featured three large bejeweled pendants strung in-line, hanging down to below the waist from a long strand of large creamy pearls. The other, featured a strand of large white pearls with a very big circular bejeweled pendant about the size of a cantaloupe with little beads hanging softly down.  This necklace sat under the first one, was about 18-inches long, and frankly didn’t go with the longer one at all.  But, somehow or other, the look worked.


Sort of.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Saturday, September 26th, 2009

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