By Julie Davis
Oxblood, leather, fur – fashion this fall is pretty wild
Fall’s fashion headlines read more like an episode of Animal Planet’s The Big Cat Diary but the trends (we promise) are much more sophisticated than savage.
Models, not lions, pounced down the runways wearing all sorts of interesting colors, textures and fabrics – from a rich red dubbed “oxblood” to quilted, crackled, and colored leathers. Tailored shapes that are anything but feral also ruled the runways, announcing the return, or rather the continuation, of menswear-inspired pieces.
Sarah Reinertsen-DiMare, co-owner and buyer of Glow at The Grove in Shrewsbury, says the majority of the fall trends are realistic and appropriate for every day. Here, she helps navigate them with her top five picks of the season — all fiercely tame and wildly wearable.
Red is back. Less cheery and more moody, the color is deep, like wine. Yet, says Reinertsen-DiMare, it has much more of a punch. “The color, despite its name, is truly mesmerizing and modern,” she says. Several collections, including those from Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, and Peter Som, are dripped in the rich, saturated shade, which is being praised for its versatility. “It matches almost any color and is extremely wearable for every day as it works a lot like black,” notes Reinertsen-DiMare. “You can pair it easily with other shades or fabrics, and it’s flattering on any skin tone.” From denim and dresses to pants, blazers and accessories, oxblood is the color of fall.
Fur is and always will be a perennial fall trend. “It will never go away. It was the first choice of outerwear for mankind,” says Reinertsen-DiMare. “Its natural insulation, warmth, and comfort are incomparable.” Yet over the past few years as a fashion favorite, one thing has changed: “Designers have gotten so good with their faux options, it’s nearly impossible to figure out which is which,” she notes.
This fall, fur is lining, trimming and accenting in all its usual places only with a more tonal approach. “It’s a caramel cardigan with caramel fur or a sage sweater with sage fur,” explains Reinertsen-DiMare.
If the thought of wearing leather to work or even to preschool drop-offs sounds unrealistic, think again. The trend, says Reinertsen-DiMare, is absolutely practical — city or suburbs. “Pair leather pants with a knit sweater or a tailored blazer and T-shirt by day, then change into heels and a silk top and you’re ready for dinner,” she says. “Jeans with a leather jacket — what’s more classic than that?”
Leather this season is getting a little more creative — crackled, colored, worked-in, quilted, and even draped. There’s truly a shape, style, and texture for everyone. The look topping Reinertsen-DiMare’s list: dresses with leather paneling. “Some designers are showing all-over leather paneling, while others have one panel of leather on a dress. Either way, it looks sexy, plus it’s comfortable, practical, and timeless.”
It’s the season of the sharply dressed woman. A nod to menswear offers blazers, suits, pants and tailored outerwear for her, with a twist. To alter the look from seasons past, the fit and fabrics have slightly changed. “The fabrics, patterns, and fit are all much more masculine. Everything is a bit looser, a bit darker, and there’s an overall refined ease,” notes Reinertsen-DiMare, who says she lives in this trend. “Tailored pieces bring everything to a more structured place without rigidity because, although the shapes are tailored, they still have a slightly relaxed approach to their fit, making them very easy to wear.” The trend, she adds, is also ideal for the time-challenged. “It’s the fastest way to get dressed in the morning and look the most put together in the shortest time frame.”
Part collegiate, part librarian, part ’80s yuppie, elbow patches have nudged their way to the status of fall must-have. Making their mark on blazers, jackets, long-sleeved T-shirts, sweaters, and dresses in tonal and contrasting colors, they instantly make an outfit look “smarter, sophisticated and more interesting,” says Reinertsen-DiMare. Rag & Bone, Elizabeth and James, and Cut25 are just a few of many labels showing patches. Try adding them to an old blazer or jacket to give it a stylish second life.