Fashion & Beauty

Lessons for Trend Watchers and Others, Too

IF YOU’VE been paying any attention to fashion trends, you know sequins (just seen at the Golden Globes on black dresses worn by Kerry Washington and Zoe Kravitz) are having a moment, as is velvet (Natalie Portman in couture Dior). Polka dots, pastels, denim, trench coats and embellished everything are poised to be “in” for winter and spring. So, say you have been eying a new sparkly skirt or been lusting after a trenchcoat or a pastel-colored dress. But if you’re looking for something beyond the ho-hum—not just another skirt or undistinguished jacket or pair of shoes—we’ve picked some items with fresh details that set them apart from the crowd. Here’s what we liked and why.

Supersize the scale of pailettes in an unexpected shade of blue, and the Burberry skirt that model Jordan Dunn wore to a 2015 store opening evokes a wow.  The same can be said for the olive-green sequined skirt (see above) from mass retailer Zara. In both cases, the glitziness of the skirt is played down by a sporty jacket.

A Celine trench coat from the spring 2018 collection (the designer Phoebe Philo’s last for the line) retains the traditional features—shoulder epaulets, storm flap and cuff tabs, but it stands out from the norm because of an extra flap that falls insouciantly over the waistline and the generous cut. It’s not the polished look of a trad trench, which is appealingly new. Paired with an oversize tote in a similar fabric as the coat and a colorful high-neck printed top, the result is anything but boring.

Ultraviolet is Pantone’s 2018 color of the year. It’s not my favorite color, but I’d make an exception for Tibi’s pre-fall 2018 (yeah, it’s fashion’s nutty schedule) bomber jacket. We’re so used to seeing this style in dark brown or black leather that this one in lilac in a soft, cozy fabric is a welcome surprise. Worn with dark skinny pants and bright green pumps, it telegraphs stylish.

Designer Ulla Johnson hit the refresh button on polka dots in this look from her pre-fall 2018 collection. A cropped, balloon-sleeve printed polka dot sweater is a delightful interpretation of a retro style. A tone-on-tone full skirt with pockets (yay) is sweet but not saccharine. And a traditional wicker bag gets an infusion of energy with netting and a long tassel.

Outside of fashion circles, Virgil Abloh’s Milan-based label Off White is not a familiar name but the designer who started his career in street wear is one to know. This leather dress from his spring 2018 line is in a grown-up nude pink with leather so luxe, soft and supple the sleeves can puff out and the waist can be cinched. Okay, those shoes are a little wacky.

The rage for embellishment is embracing shoes, which are partying for spring 2018 with bows, feathers, pearls and studs. You may not want to wear yours with black and pink striped knee socks. Instead of just a few pearls on a block heel or a prim bow at the toe, Prada goes all out, wrapping the whole shoe in a cartoon print and adding an off-center, clashing polka-dot bow.

Fashion folk are as much in love with denim as ever. The ubiquitous jean jacket has been distressed, colored, embroidered, patched and adorned with charms, but Alexander McQueen’s version takes it up a few notches by layering an elegant fitted bolero top with a pleated peplum bottom that falls gently around the hips.

—Janet Kelly



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