Monday, June 13, 2011

External Pockets: Men's Trendlet.

External Pockets

While most trends move from women's to men's, here's a little micro trend for fall 2011  that has originated more from the latter: the exposed pocket. Tailoring with a utilitarian twist, it's a pocket that sits - like a pouch - on the outside of a garment.

External pocket at Kris Van Assche A/W '11

It's always harder to come up with new details for men that are unique and fresh and yet still wholly wearable. And while this play on pockets isn't something we'll see on every jacket and pant on every street, it's a detail that fits the criteria for a wearable mens micro-trend.

During the fall 2011 menswear shows we spotted these exposed pockets at the likes of Kris Van Assche, Marni, and Jean//Philip; each designer crossing elements of smart tailoring with casual workwear.

In fact, the external pocket is born of a wider trend towards relaxed tailoring and casual detailing. It's closely tied to new shapes in mens pants and suiting that shift away from the super-slim; so as we move towards 2012, keep an eye out for the marrying of looser cuts with details like the external pocket. You're bound to see more of it.

External pocket at Kris Van Assche A/W '11

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pleats: Womens Trend


A leather shell top worn above a skirt of floating, floor-length pleats. There was a sunny romanticism to Chloe's spring 2011 pairing, and it was a look much imitated. But it wasn't just Chloe: remember Lanvin's similarly captivating pleated gowns from the same season?

We've mentioned along the way the prevalence of pleats for spring 2011. And now we're here to tell you they're staying on as a trend for fall 2011.

So don't pack up pleats just yet, and don't be afraid to invest in them if there's that special statement piece you're considering. Pleats are back, and they're going to be with us for a while yet.

 Pleats at Vera Wang A/W '11

Styles of pleats in 2011

Invariably, every season something hits the catwalk that's pleated. But what particular types of pleats should you be on the look out for in 2011?

Most dominant as a 2011 fashion trend are knife pleats and their cousin, the sunray pleat. Knife pleats are single pleats that all go in the same direction; sunray or sunburst pleats are knife pleats that are cut to start smaller and get wider towards the bottom, creating a flared-out effect.

When you're looking for a statement, pleated item we're tipping our hat towards dresses. In particular, the maxi dress and the very-on-trend sheer maxi dress. If a pleated maxi dress isn't your thing, look then to midi and knee-length dresses.
Knee-length pleated overskirt at Dion Lee A/W '11

You'll note that we've excluded shorter hem length so far. They can work, but this is a trend that is about early 20th century influences and a sense of elegance, or a contrasting sense of 70's glamour. Shorter pleated items will come back in, but it's too early for a school-girl skirt revival just yet.

Pleats for Spring

When looking at pleats as a spring trend in 2011, what we're really looking at is lightweight fabrics; not boxy, school-girl pleats but flowing, ethereal ones.
  • When it comes to wearing these types of pleats in Spring:
  • Fabrics like crepe and silk tulle and anything that's to the sheer side is particularly on-trend.
  • For spring, as well as fall, the lightweight pleated maxi can easily be dressed up or down.
  • In the evening, it's utterly perfect with a 70's revival spin.
  • It can also work in a shorter length with a flapper / 1920s feel.

Pleated flapper dress at Jill Stuart A/W '11

Pleats for Fall

Stepping off the spring runways and onto the fall ones, not much has changed. Despite the appropriateness to the cold weather, sheer and lightweigh fabrics are still key, though for winter there's also the option of something heavier.

The main difference for fall is how you style it. Here are some styling tips for the colder weather:
  • Pair a sunray pleat maxi-dress with socks or tights and heels, and some cosy layers on top. Having your soft, pleated gown flowing out from under a coat or jacket is simple yet effective.
  • Play it down in a rock-chic pair of boots instead of heels.
  • Mix styles for contrasts, like the dreamiest of pleated skirts with a bohemian fur or a tough biker jacket.
 Layered pleats at Richard Chai A/W '11