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Fall 2010 Trend Report

Return to the classics this season with trends that evoke simplicity and elegance.


Michael Kors dominates the neutral trend with cozy, elegant, monotones. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz)

As forward-thinking as fashion may be, the runway is also a sign of the times. Deep in a recession with no end in sight, a simpler, more practical time was presented at Fashion Week for the Fall/Winter 2010 season.

Classics are back, and over-the-top luxuries are out the window. Styles are timeless and wearable. Masculine tailoring and military-like details dominated the runways. Meanwhile, the rise of technology and its use in fashion exports a new age of graphic, photographic prints not seen in years past.

Overall, the focus is on quality and lasting power, versus in-your-face luxury and embellishment. The Fall/Winter 2010 woman is strong yet feminine, comfortable yet stylish, understated yet sophisticated.


Here's a list of Fall/Winter trends seen at Fashion Week, and available at East Bay boutiques:



The masculine/feminine combination has been around for a while, but is now out in full-force, combat-style. Structured, military-inspired looks were all over the runway, without a complete takeover.

Nanette Lepore is available at Personal Pizzazz in Berkeley, Specialtees in Lafayette, and McMullen in Oakland.

How to make it work? Opposites attract. Pair masculine looks with feminine pieces like sequins and velvet. As did Nanette Lepore, whose romantic Fall/Winter 2010 collection was inspired by an Italian Renaissance portrait. Lepore paired wool coats with shimmer or rich velvet, accessorized by leather belts and long, gold medallions.




The focus on metallics has shifted to sparkle and shimmer. Sequins were prominent on the runway, but took on a new shape and form. Asymmetrical sequins and patterns replace the traditional, round sequin. Beading and paillettes add shimmer in a sophisticated, understated manner. The effect is fun and feminine, perfect for mixing with the other, more conservative trends this season.



Michael Kors Cashgora Suiting Double Breasted Blazer, $1,795; White Silk Marocaine Raglan Sleeve Shirt, $795; Charcoal Crushed Cashmere Flannel Low Rise Pleated Pant, $895; Teak Leather Triple Keeper Trouser Belt, $250; Teak Leather Multi Belt Strap Platform Sandal, $1,495; Gold Aviators, $195, available at Michael Kors in Pleasanton.


If it rained neutrals this spring, it's pouring this fall. Muted color palettes suggest simpler times, with shades of gray, camel, and sage playing huge roles. Black isn't out of the game, but it has strong, earthy competition.


Designers opted for lush, neutral tones combined with cashmere, silk, and tweed. Michael Kors was king of the trend this season, adorning his models with lavish neutrals from head-to-toe. Alexander Wang used a similar palette. Monotone is the way to go, but neutrals do contrast well with dark shades of burgundy and teal.



Draping & Gathering

Tibi Metallic Embroidery top, $295, available at Iniam in Oakland.From your neckline right down to your pockets, gathered and draped fabric is taking on the role of an accessory. The best part? Draped fabric can hide flaws and is wearable by women of all shapes and sizes.


From accents like this Metallic Embroidery top by Tibi, to full-on Grecian-style dresses, its influence is going straight from the runway to your local stores. Look for sophisticated, gathered styles by Pier Antonio Gaspari at Alina B. in Walnut Creek.



Digital Prints

Helmut Lang gravel print sateen drape dress, $485, available at McMullen in Oakland.

Painterly prints are taken to a new level thanks to technology and the use of photographic equipment for fabric. Prints are as realistic as ever, representing paint strokes, moon beams, or gravel, like this Helmut Lang gravel print sateen drape dress, available at McMullen.


The trend worked in reverse when fashion designer Vivienne Tam designed a Digital Clutch Laptop for HP to match her Spring/Summer 2010 line, followed up by Monster Butterfly earbud headphones, announced during Fashion Week last February. In fact, the clutch came right down the runway with the models wearing the looks. Expect to see a lot more technology overlaps like this in the near future.



Fur & Faux

With all this minimalism, there was bound to be a surprise this season. Fur. Loads and loads of it. It's often seen as a trim or accessory, but can also be found as a full look. What makes this season different is that faux fur shares the spotlight with the real deal, proving that fashion is indeed flexible with the times. More politically-minded fashionistas can opt for the faux variety from designers like Tracy Reese and Rebecca Taylor.




Milly Montparnasse Peacoat in Navy, $495, available at Flaunt Boutique in Danville. As for accessories, the trends are just as practical. Flats and boots are big. No surprise there, and you'll see a ton of lace-up and fur-trimmed styles. Thigh high boots carried over from last fall, creating a leggy look that resembles tights. Tights have also prospered, with colors and patterns showing up on legs all over the runways. Milly added pop to the Fall/Winter 2010 collection with vibrant, colored tights by HUE. Shimmer also makes an appearance in tights, with rich, dark colored options getting just as much play. 




Personal Pizzazz 2842 Prince St., Berkeley, (510) 420-0704, personalpizzazz.com
Elisa Wen 730 Camino Ramon, Danville, (925) 831-9600,
Flaunt Boutique 140 E. Prospect Ave., Suite 101, Danville, (925) 831.9923,
Duchess 3587 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 962-0208,
Specialtees 979 Moraga Rd., Lafayette, (925) 283-5114
Iniam 5902 College Ave., Oakland, (510) 597-1558,
McMullen 1235 Grand Avenue, Piedmont, (510) 420-6906; 4395 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, (510) 420-6906,
Michael Kors 2417 Stoneridge Mall, Pleasanton, (925) 469-6200,
Alina B 1378 North Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 952-9037,
BCBG 1189 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 939-3590,
Cole Haan 1180 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 930-8856,
J. Crew 1279 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 943-7664; 1 Stoneridge Mall Rd., Pleasanton, (925) 463-2100,
Macy's 1320 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 279-3333; 1300 Stoneridge Mall, Pleasanton, (925) 463-3333,
Nordstrom 1200 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 930-7959,
Betsey Johnson 1198 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 947-2946,
H&M 1450 Mt Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 935-2394,

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