Taking Stock for Fall 2011

Now that all the Ready To Wear shows for Fall 2011 are over, I have had a chance to think about what it will mean for me!  Many people think they don’t take any notice of the fashion trends, but what is shown on the catwalk influences everyone of us to some extent, even if it is only in what colours of yarn are available…!

And there was plenty of colour this year!  As well as the inevitable black, grey and red, there was lots of colour, both in blocks and in prints.  Baby blue was everywhere – a lovely change – and there was plenty of teal, terracotta and (another new one!) greens of all hues.  There were plenty of non-colours, or nudes as some call them, but for those of us who prefer something more definite, we should have plenty of things to choose from.

In general, I found it the most positive season for ages.  I think there were three reasons for this:

1.  Many – even most – of the clothes were wearable by the average woman.  The super-minis and body-con dresses which show every pimple were largely absent, only being shown by a few Houses which cater for the under 22s.  In their place were flattering pieces, some close to the body and others with a looser fit, but all designed to make you look good AND be comfortable.  These were clothes you could actually sit down in.

2.  Many of the clothes were shown on models slightly less skeletal than formerly.  This meant that many had good legs rather than knobbly knees, which in turn made the super-minis look more attractive.

3.  Most of the Houses have at long last realised that it is actually far sexier to have some of the goods under wraps rather than letting everything hang out  for the world to see.  Usually at this time I have nipple fatigue, but this year there were far fewer on view, and the clothes which did display them seemed tawdry.

And there is probably a fourth reason.  There were whole collections which could be worn by women over the age of 40 and over size UK 20!!  Instead of there being a couple of coats I felt I could have worn, there were loads of things AND in my colours.

What is there NOT to like??

Well, for someone who designs knitting patterns, there were far fewer hand knits, and those that there were tended to be simple sweaters, high necked, long or short sleeved – the sort of thing which does not need a pattern.  One interesting trend in both knits and fabric, was having sleeves a different colour from the body, and sometimes a different yarn, too.  That is definitely something to take note of, Knitters –  you can use up those yarn lots in your stash  where you don’t have enough for a whole sweater!!!

So what were my favourite collections??  Very, very difficult this year…  If I have to choose one from each of the cities I would probably go for:

Betsey Johnson in New York for the fun in her collection

Daks (of all people!) in London for the elegance which also poked fun at the conventions when you looked closely

Missoni in Milan for the fabulous colours, layers, knits and prints (of knitwear)

Chanel in Paris for the up-front-ness of the pieces – even though many were in grey!!

And the looks I will be wearing?  Definitely the knitted tunic with a long, swishy skirt.  Definitely the caramel leather wrap coat.  Definitely the cashmere rollneck with the pinafore dress(US = jumper).

But then, if you know me, that is what I have been wearing for years…!!

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9 thoughts on “Taking Stock for Fall 2011

  1. thank you for your excellent analyze of upcoming fall fashion.

    it has really been interesting to read your latest post regarding this subject. You are attentive, and really know what to look for:)

    well done:)

  2. every time I see fashion shows, I am glad that as a dyer/spinner/knitter/sewer (no, that’s not a word in fashion! seamstress sounds better:)) I can make for myself what I want to wear, not what others deem fashionable! as a designer you have to cater for fashionable garments – as a wearer of handmade clothes I can do whatever the heck I want:)) very liberating, I think:))

  3. Wow – the Chanels, especially the mixed-texture pieces, really lend themselves to handknit interpretation, even when the originals are in woven fabrics. They also lend themselves nicely to a steam-punk interpretation, good for some of us anyway. But I was disappointed in the jumpsuits – I actually like jumpsuits, but not these.

    I’ll review the other collections as time permits. Thanks for the links!

  4. That’s a great summary — thank you… and I took particular note of the different colours for sleeves and body point; I’ve been waiting for a good excuse – sorry, reason – to do just this and look on trend rather than bonkers!

  5. thank you for the excellent summary… it’s really helpful. I’m so pleased that colours are coming back into the shops.. especially blue. It’s been absent for too long. I’ve always loved Missoni, so glad that they’re one of your recommended best. And at last, sizing and real body shapes are getting a look in. It sounds like you had fun ~Fiona

  6. Very useful analysis, Liz. Thank you! and you cracked me right up with the “nipple fatigue”! what a perfect phrase, and I agree with you 100%

  7. I love pinafore dresses, (and shirtwaist dresses) but you haven’t been able to buy them off the rack here (central Canada) for years. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to this year (if they make them big enough).

    PS I’m not the same Kate as the person who commented before me!

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