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Top Buyers Pick Their Fall Fashion Faves, But What Jewelry Goes With It? |  March 26, 2021 (0 comments)


Merrick, NY—Normally (as in, sans pandemic), the fashion world spends all of March globetrotting to the fall fashion runway shows in New York, Paris, London, Milan, and a host of other secondary cities. This year, of course, it’s all being done virtually, but while buyers are likely happy to skip the grueling travel schedule, they’re still busy picking and choosing the clothes your customers will find in stores for fall. Image: Roopal Patel, SVP and fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue, picked this combination poncho and puffer by Gabriela Hearst for Chloe, as a directional item for fall.

What can we look forward to for the first (hopefully!) post-pandemic fall fashion season? And what kind of jewelry will go with it? tapped key buyers at a variety of fashion and specialty retailers ranging from Saks Fifth Avenue to e-commerce site Shopbop and independent boutique Capitol, to see what inspired them. Each shared between five and seven images of their top picks. Click here to see their brief slide shows.

Snugglebug. The overarching fall fashion trend is comfort, both physical and metaphorical. Given that the world now has logged more than a year in sweatpants and anxiety, it’s not surprising that the first post-pandemic season is going to reflect both. There were knits upon cozy knits at all the virtual shows, swaddling the wearer in a big wooly hug, while providing an elevated, attractive, but still comfortable alternative to sweatpants. 

Altuzarra knit outfit is many cuts above sweatpants, but still as cozy. Photo, Altuzarra

Some of the knits felt very late-1960s hippie, including ponchos, fringe, and granny squares. Whether this is a subtle reflection of current events and a reference to the last time America had as much social upheaval as we do now—or simply that the fashion industry seems to revisit the ‘60s and ‘70s more than any other decade—remains to be seen. And there was lots and lots of fake fur, another comfort-slash-hippie element.

Gabriela Hearst’s granny squares for her signature collection, above, and a fringed knit dress for her collection for Chloe, below. Images, Gabriela Hearst and Chloe.

Along with the knits were multiple permutations of the down puffer coat, another wearable hug. Even garments with more structure (like trousers and dresses) are louche and loose, reflecting an almost universal desire not to squeeze into stiff or body-conscious clothing. Bigger shoulders suggest power and strength, and while the modest silhouettes also reflect society’s renewed focus on gender equality. These clothes are functional and comfortable, not overtly sexy, and they’re size-inclusive. Finally, the contingent of buyers that tapped flowers as the print of the season suggests the hopefulness of rebirth.

A little more streamlined but still comfortable, above, by Proenza Schouler, and below, strong shoulders and relaxed pants by Sea. Images, the designers.

Jewelry. What kind of jewelry is going to work with all this swaddling? Translating the looks from runway to reality, most women aren’t going to be wearing a blanket or a down onesie anywhere. But the idea that they’ll want to be comfortable will stick, so look for knits, ponchos, and a looser silhouette to be the direction apparel is heading. 

Dainty jewelry pieces might get lost among all that swaddling, so think bigger and more casual. This could be the time to go a little hippie with gem beads or a big pendant on leather or a hefty chain, perhaps a bold cuff bracelet, and seriously big rings. And the flower motif is a perennial favorite for jewelry (no pun intended), so don’t shy away from adding lots of those. Finally, the diamond stud earring—the absolute darling of the past few seasons—will always look right, and all those knits and puffers and strong shoulders present an excellent opportunity to suggest a much larger pair to offset the volume of fall’s new clothes.

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