Fall 2009 Fashion Forecast

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by Cathy Rae Smith
founder of Culture Magazine

Recently strolling the chic-chic fashion boutiques on Waikiki’s Kalakakua Avenue, I blissfully soaked up the emergence of fall looks from designers ranging from Max Mara to Dior, with stops at Louis Vuitton and Chanel for good measure. The combination of designer and celebrity provide us with our seasonal updates.

Angelina Jolie appeared at the recent Quentin Tarantino film premiere, Inglourious Basterds starring Brad Pitt, wearing a form fitting black leather dress by Michael Kors. Perusing the fall fashion line up of various designers, this sexy nod to the bod is a dominant look on the runways. Elle magazine cites a black leather dress with cut aways as a hot item, referencing back to vintage ’60s or ’80s dresses. Lacroix inspires looks with black cocktail dresses with a striking accent bow of something like Rapture Rose (see the Pantone color forecasts below). Alexander McQueen goes big on black and white hounds-tooth patterns. Michael Kors also turns out assorted takes on the classic camel coat, transforming it to chic suits as well as the sleek overcoat.  

Another favorite American designer Donna Karan, known for her signature wearable fashions in black for fall and white for spring, introduced a line vibrantly alive with a rich crimson color that Pantone identifies as American Beauty. This appeared as a dominant accent color while touring the boutiques mentioned on Kalakakua Avenue (see the photo of Louis Vuitton accessories). Other colors cited by Pantone for fall include iron (nuance of an understated black to lend variety), crme brulee (greyed beige) and nomad (bridging the gap between light tan and light grey) as a variation on neutrals to serve as timeless wardrobe anchors. Accent colors include warm olive (a rich yellow-green to add a touch of elegance and sophistication), burnt sienna (a rich, earthy sunset color of darkened orange), rapture rose (the vibrancy of fuchsia blended with soft pink), majolica blue (exotic blend of deep teal and navy), purple heart (a rich purple that accents especially well with the olive), and honey yellow (a subdued version of the 2009 color of the year, mimosa, a vibrant, warm yellow).

The key to selecting your wardrobe updates is to go with colors and cuts that flatter you, whatever your size or complexion. If you have an eye for style, trust your taste. If that is not your natural strength, simply seek the insight from one whose strength it is. Defy age and shape standards by feeling and looking your best, then walk it with confidence and grace.