Gentle reader,

Driving home from Beverly Hills yesterday, I passed a tall, skinny blond kid on the street wearing very short denim cut-offs, a horizontal striped crop top and a skanky Mickey Mouse ear-warmer hat thing.  He may have just been wandering around thinking it was still Gay Pride, but I took it as a sign that I’d been gone from these pages for too long.  If you, yourself, have recently committed any major fashion faux pas like wearing Uggs, sporting big Tory Burch logos or trying to pull off a dopey Pharrell hat while I was away, let’s just pretend it didn’t happen.  It’s partially my fault for leaving you alone for so long.

You see, I’ve been busy these past weeks pulling up some very deep roots in one venerable Italian fashion powerhouse and planting a seed at another.  I’m not sure why it took me so long to make a change, but I suspect it was something like clinging to a rock in a wildly rushing river. And that’s it for the nature analogies, I promise; it must be my allergies. I just meant that when everything is constantly changing at a rapid pace as it is in fashion, it’s nice to have some continuity to balance it all out and I thank Mr. Armani and his world for providing me a haven for well over a decade.

Now before you get all misty-eyed, don’t forget that we’ve got some goddamned work to do.  Remember that guy with the Mickey Mouse ear-warmers?  Yeah, that one.  That look was not in for spring, nor will it be in for fall, but let’s talk about what will be so you can make room in your wardrobe and on your credit card.

Rave Prints.

First off, let’s consider how there’s been, like, the opposite of a backlash on the print madness because now they’ve got even bigger and crazier.  With a seeming nod to the rave culture of the 1990s, they’ll be bold and bright and mixed up enough to make you feel like you’ve taken a hit of E dipped in GHB.  Kenzo managed this effect through their Twin Peaks-inspired collection and Dries van Noten, oddly enough, used his Musée des Arts Décoratifs stint to arrive there.  Even directional powerhouse Rick Owens got into the action and I can’t remember ever seeing prints at a Rick Owens show so it must be a thing.

Head-to-Toe Sweaters.

There were big chunky, cozy sweaters all over the runways for the fall, which is a bit hard to think about when we’ve just started with pool parties and summer vacations, I know.  If you must, stick your fucking head in the freezer and watch the Celine show on your iPad because that shit will be gone by the time the thermometer needle starts to go backwards.  Great big knits were also seen at usually highly tailored Haider Ackermann, Michael Kors and in extreme luxury at Alexander McQueen and extreme hugeness at The Row.

Swinging Sixties.

If you had to pick only one major trend for the upcoming fall season, you should pick this one because it’s my favorite.  If that’s not reason enough for you, it’s also the one that major players Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Valentino all chose for their underlying themes, so there.  I am the first to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of Nicolas Ghesquiere’s first Vuitton outing because I thought it was a big hot overdone mess, much like Hedi Slimane’s hot overdone rocker mess at Saint Laurent.  I’m sure that many of the pieces will be lovely, as they are at Saint Laurent, but I’m not on board for the bigger over-styled picture.

On the other hand, Frida Giannini composed a lovely ode to Gucci’s 60s heyday with soft nappa leathers in soft pastels and an amazing large-scale leopard print pony in sleek shapes.  Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli are consistent to their house’s silhouette, but are varyingly successful at adapting different themes, from cool vintage Mexican lace to less successful Baroque cabinets d’ curiosities.  The inspiration of 1960s women Italian pop artists was a refreshing jolt that will translate big onto the fashion scene, I think.

That might seem like a lot to think about but don’t worry, you have at least a few weeks of pool time to figure out what the hell you want to do.  And those are only three of the many trends that surfaced on the fall runways, so there might be something coming you like even more.  Tune in next time!

Much love,

xxJames

Picks of the Season

AMcQueen-FW14-13

McQueen

Celine

Celine

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Gucci

Gucci

Haider Ackermann

Haider Ackermann

Kenzo

Kenzo

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

Michael Kors

Michael Kors

Rick Owens

Rick Owens

The Row

The Row

Valentino

Valentino

Celine

Celine

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Gucci

Gucci

Haider Ackermann

Haider Ackermann

Kenzo

Kenzo

Valentino

Valentino