Trend Report: Fall Winter 2011

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by Schuyler Hames

For Fall 2011, designers took inspiration from the 1940s, constructing womanly silhouettes that captured the essence of the era. Luxurious knee-length coats belted at the waist with dramatic collars are de rigueur for fall with funnel shaped collars or a capelet collar either laying smoothly over the coat or extending away, as if in flight.

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Jonathan Saunders kicked off his show with color blocking using geometric patterns in bright bold colors, and transitioning to abstract florals, which wrapped around the body as if growing against gravity. Chiffon and organza peek-a-boo panels were another major design element, seen at Givenchy and Louis Vuitton, incorporated across the bodice and in skirt linings extended below the hem.

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Shawl collars and shrugs rendered in exotic furs hinted at an elegant bygone luxury era of 1940s Hollywood, and added a sense of glamour, as seen at Donna Karan. Her Grace Kelly-inspired ensembles with nipped waists and tapered skirts were shown with elbow length gloves and pearls galore.

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At Prada, fur was used on sleeve panels, collars and lapels in muted citrus tones. John Galliano and Gucci’s exuberant use of fox was seen on shawl collars, shrugs and an excess of fur trim throughout. Galliano remained neutral with black or brown fox fur collars, while Gucci mixed wild vibrant jewel tone colors together, including a royal purple fox fur shrug against a smoky teal suit.

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Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel led the flirty farm girl theme with models cavorting on a runway made of hay in high-heeled wooden clogs, crafty long tweed skirts and lace blouses. Designers from New York to Milan explored the rustic country workwear of peasants, pushing it to a whole new extreme in decadently sweet floral patterns, eyelet tiered skirts, and overalls paired with chunky wooden clogs.

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