Archive for July 2010

More trends for winter 2010

July 30, 2010

If the 6 seasonal must-have items from UK ‘In Style’ magazine aren’t for you, not to worry. Other magazines have different ideas about the key styles of the season.

After looking at over 20 RTW shows, I think perhaps we should feel sorry for the editors, trying to simplify things for us. There’s so much creativity in the collections, it’s not surprising magazine editors can only find little things like strong colours as the common themes.

UK Elle had 20 looks in their August issue. Some commentators talk about one show at a time. Celebrity fashion bloggers and twitterers talk about one outfit at a time.

The August UK In Style must-have individual items were :
Flared pants
Mini kilt
Sheath dress
Aviator jacket
Camelhair cape
High heeled hiking boots.

The September UK In Style suggests 7 looks for the coming season :
– Simplicity – minimalism, simplest lines in non-colours – camel, greys, nudes.
– Country – furs, plaids, big sweaters, hiking boots.
– Glam Goth – aggressive hard edged black, chains, leopard skin.
– Colour – bold colour blocking.
– Uniform – military styles, sharp tailoring.
– Fifties – little waists and big bosoms.
– Embellished – ‘jewellery on clothes’, studs, rivets, sequins, brocade.

Still not something for everyone, but a much wider range than the August issue. Not much softness, even the curves are assertive. Happily there are drapey, frilly, and sporty styles around, they’re not just not mentioned here. (US Vogue) picks out a different set of important themes :
Long coats and skirts
Wrapped Layers

Well, they agree with UK in Style on strong colour blocking, and 50s vintage. But I wouldn’t wear either. . .

UK Vogue’s Catwalk report widens the range of possible looks, and includes styles people round here might wear :
Minimalism – simple luxury.
Retro woman – little waists and big skirts.
Camel coats, or parkas.
Grunge glamour – shapeless big knits with luxurious long skirts.
Outside – countryside looks.
Pretty Poetess – maxi-dresses in faded florals over long-sleeved knits.
Romantic lace.
White fur.
Dressing up box.
Their 3 ‘instant update’ items for the season are :
‘Easy’ fit trousers (or cigarettes).
Maxi skirts.

All three editors choose colour, fur, and the retro dress shape as key themes.
Two of them agree on country looks, minimalism, and long skirts. Many other tastes are included somewhere.

It’s fun, and also very telling, to look at a few designer collections yourself. You see quickly that much of what the designers show doesn’t fit easily into the fashion magazine categories.

Here are some for Autumn/ Winter 2010 :

Stella McCartney. . Elie Saab. . . . . . . Isabel Marant.

” ” ”

Anna Sui. . . . . . . Louis Vuitton. . . . . . . Céline

”annasui” ” ”celine”

Lanvin. . . . . . . . . Christian Dior. . . . Dolce & Gabbana

”lanvin” ”diorday” ”dolceg”

Well, I didn’t have any intention of picking out all nude tones and black, so perhaps there are a few common threads 😀 And look at the general silhouette. The majority of styles I’ve picked show the body shape, with no exaggeration of the shoulders. But emphasises strong colours, menswear, or the wrapped layered look. . .

And what if none of those are for you ? Well, different designers have different styles. Straight or fitted, angled or curved, crisp or draped, slim or wide, long or short, minimal or ornate. tailored or sporty, muffled up or exposed, high-tech or heirloom, subtle or bold colours – this season you can find them all. I might have said there’s no crinoline, but I’m not so sure.

”dior” Christian Dior Couture

Much pleasure for those of us who enjoy looking at clothes.

But throughly confusing if you’re looking for advice and certainties. There is some agreement that the key looks to choose between are : minimalism, country-layered style, the retro dress shape, long skirts, strong colours, and fur. Perhaps these are this season’s versions of basic styles :
Classic – minimalism, uniform, menswear.
Casual – country/ layered.
Dramatic – 50s dress shapes, Glam Goth, Grunge glamour, colour blocking, dressing up.
Romantic – maxi skirts, Pretty Poetess, 50s dresses.

So, what if those particular simplifications are not right for us ? How do we find our own stable point in the middle of all this variety, for what we wear ourselves ? If the editors don’t simplify things in a way that works for us, then we have to make our own choices. It’s very much a time for finding our own style. I had so much to say on this I’ve written a separate post.

– – –

Links available July 2010
Photos from

Summer 2011 preview – will I have to go into hiding ?

July 24, 2010

Have just been looking, with great amusement, at’s ‘Round up of Resort 2011 trends’.

Goodness, there is barely a single thing I would wear 😀

– – –

The clothes for next summer :

White suit
Usually classic blazer jacket and pants.
Well, I know there are amazing people who manage to stay pristine when wearing white. But I’m not one of them.
And I’m not happy wearing blazer jackets. also picked non-classic examples. A hard edged square angled jacket, not flattering to my body lines. The soft drapey choice is a scarf wrapped hip style, just where I don’t need emphasis.

White long dress
Lots of pretty frills for a wedding dress.
See white again.

Long (evening) dress with flats
Now this is an outfit I could enjoy wearing, though it wouldn’t be practical for my everyday.

Cropped sweater
Make a knit top with waist or high waist body length, and three-quarter or full length sleeves.
But those body lengths are not flattering on me.

Hot pants
If you’ve got the legs for them.
Very very short. Cut off a TNT jeans not pants pattern, so it’s closely fitted. And make the leg opening smaller if need be.
Chanel has a beautiful suit of shorts and classic Chanel jacket to high waist length. It is possible to look elegant in hot pants.

Little bags with long straps
Something we could all make from 6 inch scraps and a couple of yards of cord.
The trouble is they dangle at low hip length. And stylists are united in telling me not to wear a bag there, as it draws attention to my widest point. . .

The fabrics (in addition to all the white) :

Mixed prints
As I don’t wear prints much anyway, the problems of mixing them effectively don’t apply. Animal prints combined with abstracts – helps to have them in related colours.

Head to toe prints
This is interesting : shirt or tunic and pants (or jumpsuit) in print (usually the same print), rather than print-solid.
That is an idea I might try.

A touch of chartreuse
They really do mean just a small accent, or a bag.
But even so, I don’t plan to wear the smallest amount of chartreuse. It would look over bright to harsh on me.
I’ve just received a high-end clothing catalogue with several garments with a touch of chartreuse. Even a chartreuse cashmere sweater. Obviously chartreuse is a way of showing you’re ‘in the know’ this winter too (though only to people who are in the same ‘in the know’ 😀 )

Colour blocking
A continuing idea (seen this winter as well), and again one that is not for me. I don’t look good in the strong colours usually used for colour blocking, or in strong contrasts.
Though I do like the white big shirt with red collar and front band – that is an idea I could work with.

– – –

So, little here for me. Does that mean I have to go into hiding, crawl into a corner and give up on style for next summer ?

No, I don’t agree with that at all.

What do we do if we want to be stylish and current, but a fashion magazine’s selection is not right for us ? There is a lot more going on in fashion than what the magazine editors pick out. But if we can’t depend on them to tell us what flatters our body and suits our style, then we have to do some work to find our own possibilities.

So much to say, I’m writing another post on this. . .

– – –

Link available July 2010

‘In Style’ Autumn/Winter 2010 must-haves

July 17, 2010

Were the editors of UK In Style magazine (August 2010) looking at the new Vogue patterns when they chose their must-have items for Autumn/ Winter. . .

– – –

Flared trouser


Yes, tapered to the knee then flaring to wider than boot cut.
Many pattern possibilities : try Alice + Olivia at Vogue, perhaps Vogue 1051.


UK Elle says flares are only for people with long legs, the rest of us should wear bootcuts.

UK Elle also says “Trousers : the new cocktail dress” (in party fabrics), while UK In Style has a whole article on skirts, straight and a-line, micro to maxi.
So we can take our pick !

– – –

Mini kilt


Try shortening Butterick 5285 (back zip) or Butterick 4686 (side zip).


Lots of mini kilts in the collections, DKNY has a show full of them.

Wear with a long slim top and a big boyfriend jacket (with long lapels and high notches) or a parka/ duffle.

(If you prefer longer fuller skirts, cheer yourself up by looking at Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton – with fitted jackets.)

– – –



Emphasis on ‘body con’ close fitted.
Many sheath dress patterns available.
The most recent designer one could be DKNY Vogue 1193., for stretch fabrics.


(If sheath dresses aren’t for you, there are softer and also edgier designer dresses among Vogue’s new season patterns.)

– – –

Aviator jacket


For this, there’s Sandra Betzina Vogue 1198.


Any asymmetric style or exposed zip gives a current ‘edgy’ look, see Burberry Prorsum

As well as shearling, there’s lots of fake fur in the collections, in many styles.
Blacks and browns. Plus amazing light colour ‘fantasy’ fur from Chanel.

UK Elle has zipped jackets under the heading of “Consider outdoor pursuits”. This includes big country-style sweaters with big cables or big knit-in coloured patterns, see D&G.

– – –

Camel short cape


Try Vogue 8674.

Do you feel cold breezes swirl under a cape ? This pattern has the clever solution of a vest with cape added.

The cape pattern has a funnel collar. The cape in the photo is styled like a trench coat. Both are current.

Many short capes in the collections, including big black dramatic ones which hold a stand-out shape so can’t be intended to be warm. . .

Also cape sleeves. Or anything cropped if you dislike a cape too much.

UK Elle says “Camel is the new black”. See Chloé for a collection full of it.

– – –



For the final piece in your new outfit : fur lined hiking boots (shearling again) with vertiginous heels. A rather extreme dislocation between style and function.

In the collections there are also lots of knee-high boots with the fur outside. Fur leg warmers could be an easy substitute.


Happily UK Elle says flats are fashionable : “Buy sensible shoes”. So again we can choose what we prefer.

– – –

So, UK ‘In Style’ suggests pants with shaped legs, a kilt if you wear a mini skirt, a sheath dress, a choice between edgy leather and zips or more classic camel colour for a warm jacket, and fur boots.

What does UK Elle add to this ?
Reveal or conceal ? Elle picks out both bulging bosoms and high-necked modesty as key looks for the season. Down to the waist or up to the chin. Virginal or seductive. Leather or lace.
Thank goodness, again it’s our choice.

As well as new ideas, some fashion trends change more slowly. These are continuing themes :

Looks :
– utility.
– simplicity/ minimalism.
– grunge – a grab anything and throw it together look. (I hang up blue jeans – I’m not the right person to explain how to do grunge :D)
– biker chic – lots of studs.
– retro, especially small waists and big skirts to below knee length.

Components :
– trench coats.
– skinny pants (new patterns by Issey Miyake and Sandra Betzina). (I won’t be going for stretch leather leggings. . . though I like the below ankle length.)
– long scarves.
– big designer bags.

Fabrics :
– denim.
– leather.
– lace.
– velvet.
– animal prints.
– splodgy ‘paint splatter’ multi-colour prints.
– plaid.
– nude colours.

If you love looking at clothes, here are the (US Vogue) links for all this season’s RTW shows.
Or more simply, their choice of the top ten shows.
If you’d just like to feast your eyes on easily wearable clothes (my taste of course !) try Celine, or Dries van Noten.

Enjoy choosing your own favourites from all the possibilities 😀

– – –

Patterns and links available July 2010
Photos from UK In Style August issue and

Dress in 5 minutes coordinates: layering pieces

July 10, 2010

The Eileen Fisher summer 2010 ‘system’ is a small group of garments which are interchangeable. So you don’t have to think while getting dressed. This post is about the layering pieces (earlier posts were about the tops and bottoms).

The starting point , the ‘system’ which inspired this series of posts, has already disappeared from the Eileen Fisher site. But it’s still full of ideas about how to co-ordinate a small group of clothes.

– – –

Layering pieces


Those are the ‘system’ photos. The flat presentation doesn’t show the styles very clearly, so here are the modelled versions.


– cropped jacket with dolman cap sleeves, high collar, ties, in sequin stretch knit silk.
– cropped cardigan with banded collar, elbow length sleeves, in cotton linen textured double knit.
– shaped jacket with high collar, double layer front placket, shaped waist, flared hem,. in linen jersey.

Light airy summer cover-ups, they look different because they have different body and sleeve lengths and necklines. But they’re easily interchangeable because they’re all have :
– closely similar colour,
– similar fabric type – knits (though with very different textures),
– similar slim silhouette.

There’s a bit of difference in style elements. The vest has a wide neck band close to the neck. The cropped jacket has a narrow neck band on a wider neckline. The longer jacket has a continuous strip band along front and neckline. Only the ‘vest’ has an obvious closure.

It’s the special fabrics which make these very simple garments look luxurious.

– – –

Cropped cut-on sleeve ‘vest’ with tie fastening

I haven’t found any knit patterns close to this. But there are some that could be easy to adapt.

For example, cut down a pattern for a cut-on sleeve knit top such as Butterick 5248. Add a band collar if you like.


For wovens, a clear possibility would be to shorten Burda 7588.


And prepare for the Fall season. This is a short summer version of the shape of the big fake fur vests which are in the Fall collections.

The fur vest in Butterick 5069 (below) vest pattern has a v-neck. McCall’s 5983 has a round neck version in a wardrobe pattern.


– – –

Short sleeved cropped open front jacket, wide neck with band

Cropped jackets with band collars are another theme that continues in the Fall collections.

Again I didn’t find a knit pattern that is very similar, but there are ones which could easily be adapted. Such as the top from the McCall’s 5891 Palmer-Pletsch wardrobe of casuals.


It’s easier to find patterns for these ‘little’ jackets in woven fabrics. The nearest is perhaps Burda 8516. Again shorten the body and sleeves, and add a narrow band collar.


There are also several jackets with similar proportions but more shaped and structured styling, such as Vogue 8398.


– – –

Band edge long sleeved longer jacket

Eileen Fisher describes this jacket as having a shaped waist, but that isn’t obvious from the photos. Add a little waist shaping to the patterns if you like.

There are several knit patterns in this soft style, with a band round the front edge.

Jalie 2919 is for a pleat front knit cardigan.


Butterick 5398 is part of a knit wardrobe. With small pattern changes, this pattern could make a wardrobe quite like the Eileen Fisher one.


For wovens I think this jacket looks close to Connie Crawford’s Butterick 5053, which is simple to make.


– – –

These layers work as alternatives – they all go equally well with the all outfits that can be made from the tops and bottoms.

Why are these Eileen Fisher layering pieces interchangeable ? They all have the same colour, and the same fabric type : knits. They also have the same overall slim silhouette. I think that using the same colour and the same fabric type makes for easy co-ordinates, but they aren’t essential. It’s using different main shapes that makes co-ordination more difficult – not impossible, but more difficult.

I found I had so much to say on this, I’m planning a separate post on it.

– – –

Patterns and links available July 2010
The Eileen Fisher site changes from month to month, so in the long term it’s not useful to give links to it.