The Virginian Pilot – By Jamesetta Walker
October 11, 2011
Hampton Roads recently got a live look at some of the most popular styles for fall.
The 16th annual Fall and Holiday Fashion Show featured attire and accessories from Lili’s of Ghent. The much-anticipated event at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club opened to a full house. It is a benefit presented by the Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital Auxiliary.
The show was personable. After models came down the runway, they strutted around the seated crowd for an up-close view. That approach allowed for examination of details, quality of construction and feel.
In a departure from the general menswear-inspired or structured looks that often are prevalent in fall designs, this show featured looks that were heavy on feminine embellishments such as ruffled collars and fit-and-flare silhouettes. The hottest item was the fascinator, the whimsical headpiece that went viral after the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in the spring. Jimmy Fields, Lili’s delightful and hilarious owner, announced that he’d sold out of the ones his staff brought to the show.
I’d be careful about wearing this particular headpiece just because it’s the “it” accessory. I love it, but you could end up looking more Minnie Pearl country than British royalty if you don’t keep everything else simple.
Also hot: sweaters. Fields included several chic ones from the lines he will carry this fall.
Designers are incorporating flowing cuts such as dolman sleeves, wraps, capes and ponchos. Yes, ponchos and capes are being heralded as if they have returned from a decades-long disappearance. They’ve been refreshingly updated with bold prints and colors. Kate Spade New York (www.katespade.com) has a fierce double-breasted black and tan plaid cape, the “Sophie,” $595.
I’m inspired to make a knockoff.
And a few ankle-length skirts, set off with the right top and jewelry, should be part of the fall wardrobe for those who have sufficient height (or don’t mind creating it with stilettos).
“Introduce a tank top or a cardigan to dress a maxi skirt up or down, as well as accessories including stacks of bangles or long, eclectic earrings,” David Hacker, vice president of trend and color for Kohl’s department stores, said in an email.
Given that flowing styles, ruffles and long hemlines are all the rage, be mindful of proportion. Heaven forbid you look swallowed up.
Leggings and skinny jeans, which are somehow holding on, look better with tunics and billowy tops.
If the bottom is long or flared, the top should be shorter or fitted. If the top is sweeping or longer, the bottom should be sleek, and a skirt should show some leg.
I’m loving the flared trousers this season. Finding a great pair of slacks is as euphoric to me as hitting bingo. Be sure, however, to keep dresses and skirts in the mix.
To borrow a quote from Fields of Lili’s, “There are enough men in pants.”