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TREND CHECK:  BERETS!  Winter is here and with it plenty of cold and icy weather!  Uptrending fast in response to the very cold temperatures spreading across the nation are all kinds of cozy hats, especially berets.  This classic hat style has been in fashion non-stop for decades, but marks it as particularly hot and trendy for 2011!  You can choose all kinds of colors, as well as myriad styles to fit your own interests.  Wool knit berets are great for snowy days.  Crystal studded felt berets fill in for warmer days with sunny skies. 

        Berets are associated with some of the top celebrities of Hollywood fame.  Remember Lauren Bacall’s terribly sophisticated look back in the mid-40s?  The beret played a significant role in establishing her international intrigue appearance. Back in 1975, Charlotte Rampling pulled a hot red beret down over her rust-colored hair for a casual look that was simply fabulous.  In 1985, Demi Moore donned a beret in St. Elmo’s Fire, giving her a distinctive, yet classy look.

        One of the nicest things about berets is how great they look with necklaces.  Pick a great looking choker in the same color wave as the beret and you’ve got a real fashion-forward Frenchie look to die for!  Of course, if it is really cold, you might want to layer on top of the necklace with a winter-smart scarf.  Wrap it around your neck several times and then let it drop down the front of your coat oh, so casually.  Great style doesn’t always take work!

HOT STORY NOW:  THE FRENCH TOMBOY LOOKS:  Mais, oui! Madame, this is the look for Winter-Spring 2011!  This is a brilliant mix of French couture and slouchy American streetwear, and the result is terrific!  Just a touch hard and no small amount edgy, the look takes off with a menswear nod to what girls always like to wear:  comfortable pants, leather jackets, conservative scarves, simple leather belts, and maybe a fedora!  Add a black-faced watch and you’ve really got something going! 

Why is this look so great?  Because you can wear it anywhere!  It works for dress up occasions and dress down events, and looks just as good on Sunday as Friday.  What’s even better is that unlike many tomboy looks from the past, this semi couture updated version leaves plenty of room for fabulous accessories, from jewelry to little clutch handbags.  WOW!      


  • Women’s knit cap, side-decorated with floral motif.  Wear it beret-style for a very trendy look.



OSTRICH FEATHERS:   Oscar de la Renta is a master at designing for the ladies.  Rarely does he stoop to casual-tough looks, staying instead with his exquisite formal dresses and rich-girl daytime outfits.  Now, the designer is playing with feathers – ostrich feathers to be exact, piling them high on little tulle jackets, cashmere sweaters, and even shoes.  One wonderful example of his newest trend-setter is a pink feathered all-over short evening dress that literally shimmers with the wearer’s movements.  Worn with diamond and pearl drop earrings, this is a real winner!

SOFT-TOUCH ELEGANCE:   Wonder-boy designer Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein is leading the way with this new fashion story that everybody is sure to love.  It takes the famous Klein minimalist look and softens it up for a terrific “feminine-without-being-cute” look for 2011. Designer Carolina Herrera also gets in on the act with a softly flowing collection of clothes that are classic, unembellished, but certainly not hard-edged. 

     The outfits from Calvin Klein retain much of their beautifully tailored and assertive minimalist character, yet are gentled by carefully chosen extras, such as ruffles, peplums, even low-cut necklines and full sleeves. 

     Take, for example, a full body-suit in light brown with flowing pants that are not exactly harem-esque, stretching off a straight, simple, long-sleeved blouse line.  It is a stunner, and although we forgive the absence of accessories in the runway outfit (well, after all, they are selling the costume!), we’d seriously suggest a cuff bracelet and long water-drop modern sliver-earrings to finish it all off dramatically.  An architecturally-severe brooch on the upper right shoulder would also be spectacular. 

    A long robe by Caroline Herrera features a ruffled neckline and full sleeves, but really makes its mark by being cut out of wonderful, gently draping leopard print material!  If you can’t imagine softening up a look with a leopard, think again!

    Generally speaking, accessories for the softer look coming on-stream are the same as the outfits they are meant to go with; i.e., they are simple, almost minimalistic, but with some compromising features that really add to the overall product.  Think of a perfectly plain but exquisitely tailored little clutch bag, and then see it with a big bow front.  Or, a smoothly metallic sliver cuff, with an edge of hand-worked etching.  You might think of it all as the New York look gone global.






Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, January 3rd, 2011

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