Trends Out of Pre Fall: The Big Eight from Chanel, Alexander Wang, Belstaff, and More

Only a month and a half out – cue panic – from the new and improved New York fashion week, we can’t help but wonder what designers will bestow upon us this coming season. If the pre fall collections are any indication of what’s to come, we’ll be seeing an inundation of fringe, plenty of pleats and lots of lace. Plaids and floral will be prominent pattern stories, as will the black and white pairings that we saw this past spring. Big volume will remain a big player. And Bermuda shorts will make an impressive comeback.

(Above) Lace Resort

Seen at: Burberry, Jason Wu, Rag & Bone

Dark, dramatic lace could be found all throughout the pre fall collections.  This season’s lace felt romantic, sensual and not in the least bit girly.

BermudaTriangleBermuda Triangle 

Seen at: ALC, Rag & Bone, Thakoon, Band of Outsiders

Reminiscent of a schoolboy uniform from private schools past, Bermuda shorts came back in a more tailored way. Rather than being oversized and slouchy they were grown up – a crisp, formal approach to the menswear trend.

BlackWhiteCompare and Contrast

Seen at: DKNY, Donna Karan, Alice & Olivia, Narciso Rodriguez

The back and white pairings that dominated spring runways came back bolder and even more graphic. The contrasting colors felt distinctly harder, tougher, and seemed to harken back to the 1960s.

CowgirlsIndiansCowgirls and Indians

Seen at: Chanel, Derek Lam, Alexander Wang, Nicole Miller

Cowboy hats, boots, and fringe, oh my. Epitomized by Chanel’s show in Dallas, the cowboy trend was more apparent than ever. Fringe found itself on everything from bags to the backs of dresses and broad rimmed hats and over the knee boots.

InFullBloom In Full Bloom

Seen at: Badgley Mischka, Erdem, Alice & Olivia, Temperley London

A perennial trend, flowers bloomed bold and beautiful this fall. In pastel pink and brooding black, blooms were rendered in a dozen different ways. We loved the graphic interpretations as well as the retro inspired prints.

Plaiditude A Plaiditude

Seen at: Altuzarra, Belstaff, Rachel Comey, Thakoon

Cleaning up the grungy plaids of last fall, this season’s tartans are crisp and classic with a modern twist. Interpreted in new color combinations and shapes the plaid feels reinvigorated and new.

PleatsPleasePleats and Thanks

Seen at: ALC, Gucci, Tory Burch, Missoni

Pleated skirts in delicate swingy fabrics look simultaneously classic and fresh, especially when reinterpreted in silver metallic fabric or paired with sleek, minimal accessories.

sizemattersSize Matters

Seen at: Adam Lippes, Just Cavalli, Derek Lam, Proenza Schouler

Proving more is more. Jackets and pants in particular were given an extra dose of volume. Big, boxy structural shapes reigned supreme.

Hugh Jackman, Adriana Lima & Harvey Keitel @ Aerospace High Performance Center

You didn’t have to pry your way into the Boom Boom Room to go celebrity-hunting in the Meatpacking District last Thursday night. For a $30 ticket (which would get you just one drink at the Boom, by the way) you could have supported a fantastic cause, and gotten your fill of A-listers. Aerospace High Performance Center, the chic athletic club on 13th street, hosted its third annual Championships Fight for Fitness competition — proceeds go to the East Harlem School’s fitness program — with an impressive panel of celebrity judges including Hugh Jackman, Adriana Lima, Narciso Rodriguez, Q-tip and Harvey Keitel.

Perched on bleachers around a boxing ring, a crowd of excited gym members and their trendy kids watched the show; on another wall, Hugh Jackman and his kids watched, too, although we noticed eight-year-old Oscar Jackman focused more on Dad’s iPhone.

The competition was divided into two main events — jump rope and boxing — while contestants were judged on three official categories: swagger, getup and realism. Who better to critique one’s outfit than supermodel Adriana Lima, who left six-month-old daughter Valentina at home, in order to offer her expertise. The new mom looked like a teenager in a colorful sundress, with her hair pulled back, flashing smile after smile. Dispelling any rumor that high-fashion models are high maintenance, the Brazilian beauty took off her heels as she jumped around, flashing scorecards and kissing sweaty contestants on the cheek. “I’ve tried many different workouts,” says Adriana, “but the best exercise for me was boxing because it’s not boring, it challenges you, and every day you learn something new.”

Outfits aside, actors Hugh Jackman and Harvey Keitel determined which fighters looked more like Hulk Hogan than Muhammed Ali. Included among the scrappers were a handful of muscled women who took their turns sparring with club owner and fitness expert Michael Olajide. Jackman, a veteran boxer at Aerospace, has no qualms throwing punches with the weaker sex. “My wife comes here too,” says the actor, “That’s why I first came here. I thought, I’ve got to keep up with her or she’s going to kick my ass.” Man or woman, Jackman knows from experience how hard boxing can be. “It’s the most intense workout I know.”

First Lady Elect Michelle Obama Shocks with Narciso Dress

Check out a video from Good Morning America on Michelle Obama’s dress, including a cameo from our own Alisa Gould-Simon.

Following nearly a year of feverish anticipation (and a more recent inability to deal with some salacious feelings for a certain Senator from Chicago), Barack Obama has been elected president. While all eyes were on the President Elect last night as he delivered an intensely moving acceptance speech, the world’s collective gaze soon turned to future First Lady Michelle Obama as she joined her husband on the podium in Chicago’s Grant Park. And, what they saw will likely keep the fashion world buzzing for days. Whether you loved it or hated it, Mrs. Obama’s frock choice — a red-and-black sleeveless sheath with a criss-crossed black satin cummerbund off Narciso Rodriguez’s SS09 runway — definitely made a statement.

Michelle Obama’s decision to sport an American designer was no surprise; she’s been doing so with everyone from J.Crew and Thakoon to Mario Pinto throughout the campaign. But it was the latter’s significantly more conservative coral-red silk sheath with a high, pleated neckline that the most avid of Mrs. Obama’s fashion followers (namely the blog mrs-o.org) were predicting the future first lady would don. And, while on the aforementioned blog’s commenters went wild calling fashion foul and criticizing the choice, I’d argue Michelle Obama made her most commendable fashion statement as of yet. The dress was by all accounts unexpected, unconventional, and right on trend (the cummerbund detailing immediately calls to mind this season’s pervasive bondage theme, not to mention the skirt initially was partially transparent — a ubiquitous SS09 theme — though Mrs. Obama appropriately covered up so as to make it opaque). Like any true fashion icon, Michelle Obama knows how to push the sartorial envelope, and how to ruffle some fashion feathers. I just can’t wait to see what’s awaiting us come Inauguration Day.

See also: Michelle Obama: To Vogue, or Not to Vogue?, Michelle Obama’s Election-Night Dress on ‘GMA’, How to Deal with Your Feelings for Barack Obama, The Obama Family Style, Michelle Obama Endorses Fast Fashion, Michelle Obama Avoids Bolero-Gate

Narciso Rodriguez & Liz Claiborne’s Nasty Divorce

image“The marriage of Liz Claiborne and Narciso Rodriguez was a bad idea,” says the New York Post in response to the recent news that the latter will depart the classic American brand. After 18 months of what sounds like a very unhappy relationship — “the struggling apparel giant and the prickly fashion designer have ended their stormy marriage” — both parties are moving on.

The root of the relationship’s turmoil was the ever-rotating position of president of the company (one filled by four different people during Rodriquez’s one and a half years at the house). Not to mention that while Liz Claiborne’s CEO “pushed for low-cost factories in Asia, Rodriguez lobbied for Italy.” Dissolving the partnership seems to be in the best interest of all parties. And the good news: Rodriguez is once again a free agent, no doubt scoping out which new fashion house to flee to.