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TREND ALERT:  big changes on the horizon!!!  Skirts are getting longer for Spring and wide legged pants are back in fashion.  That’s a bit of the 40s and a bit of the 70s rolled into one. Heels are lower, handbags are smaller, and hats have big brims.  Well…don’t get too excited by all this.  Super high heels are still hot, big handbags are still loved, and mini-minis are still the absolute favorite of young, sexy damsels.  So, what does it all mean?  Probably just variety. 

MORE TRENDS:  Peplums are back, and aren’t they cute?  Pair them to romantic, somewhat minimalistic chokers, like a single strand of pearls, and equally charming pearl bracelets and you’ve got real feminine power in the “Iron hand in a velvet glove” sense.  Sure, these new dresses even work in the Board Room!

IN MEMORIAM:  St. Paul’s Cathedral in London was the site of a grand memorial service for Lee Alexander McQueen.  The designer committed suicide last February at the age of 40.  Many of the attendees wore McQueen outfits, including Icelandic singer Bjork, dressed entirely in black, with strange and exotic McQueen shoes and a long feathered skirt.  Reverend Canon Giles Fraser told a huge audience that McQueen’s life was lived in the public gaze, “but it was as vulnerable and retiring as it was glamorous.”

IN THE MAKING:  Are the Brits on to something?  The Anglo-Saxon designers went crazy with color for Spring, and presented a wild palette of brights at their recent runways shows in London.  Fluorescent orange and bright green and blood red were splashed across their dresses and pant suits, one more vibrant than the other. Florals were everywhere and there was a magical, rich English garden mystique to everything. 

   Bright blues reflected the Mediterranean and flashing yellows literally grabbed out and caught observers unaware.  Long evening dresses were flounce-y and ethereal, while play dresses were somewhat short with defined waists.  Sunglasses gave a theatrical mystery to the models, very big, with black lenses and, again, bright orange or yellow frames.   Dazzling!




CHILD LABOR:    Think the work-abuse of children is pretty much eradicated in major countries of the world?  Well, think again! The United States Department of Labor last month included India on a list of countries that use forced or indentured child labor.  The list covers 20 product categories including the textiles and apparel industry. Also on the list were China, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sierra Leone (for diamonds).  “It was not a pleasant thing when we found ourselves on the list, declared Premal Uldani, chairman of India’s Apparel Exports & Promotions Council, which is working actively to eradicate child labor.  More than 12 million Indian children under the age of 14 are thought to work in a wide range of jobs from cloth weaving to home and restaurant cleaning.

THE REDDER THE BETTER:  Wow!  Red is amping up its presence in the high fashion world with a collection of fabulous dresses from the top designers of the world.  Can we ever get enough of this blasting bright hue?  Calvin Klein is one of the haute couturiers promoting red right now, in a stunning sheath with black belt and medium-length hem. 

    Kay Unger has a blood red dress out, also with a black belt, and three buttons on an angle at the left shoulder.  From Trina Turk comes a red sheath with boat neck and short skirt.  Very sleek! Diane Von Furstenberg also has a red wool jersey sheath on the market with short skirt and little cap sleeves. 

    And, hey, if all that red isn’t enough, how about a red plaid jacket from Burberry Brit? A red wool shorty coat from DKNY?  A red print scarf from Eileen Fisher?  A little red handbag from Longchamps?  All elegant, relaxed, great-looking!

    But that’s not all!  Red is hot for jewelry as well – note all those marvelous red gemstones flashing their way to notoriety around the neck, on the wrist, and elsewhere.  Red!  It is a very big number for now…straight through spring.









NEW UTILITY:  Functionality continues to grow as a major trend in the handbag field, taking no small amount of impetus from the military look.  Most utility bags are smaller than the super-big luggage-like bags we’ve been seeing in the market.  They’re medium-sized to sort-of-big, but not quite, and they’re designed with all kinds of special compartments and straps and what-have-you’s to make living with them just grand!

   Crossbody bags weigh in heavily in the functional bag field.  Think of Rebecca Minkoff’s metallic black bronze leather for an example.  It’s crossbody, with zippered compartments inside and out.  Satchels are another big style in the functionality arena.  Messengers’ bags are especially hot in this category, too. 

   Most functional bags are either leather or heavy grade material like canvas.  After all, they’re meant to be given extras use!  They’re easy to wear, and they show attractively.  Use them going on as hike, going to school, or navigated the crowds on a busy Manhattan Street. Think of Marc Jacobs great looking tobacco leather saddlery crossbody bag as a natural example for what is hot this year.  It works.  It is functional.  And, it is very good looking, all at the same time.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, October 18th, 2010

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