• December 19, 2014
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Queens Chronicle

FALL GUIDE Autumn’s about to heat up

Bright colors and showy prints liven up the season’s fashions

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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 3:52 pm, Thu Aug 28, 2014.

With weather already starting to shift into fall, look forward to a burst of punchy prints, vibrant gem hues and funky, eclectic patterns spilling over from summer.

While New Yorkers tend to lapse into wearing darker, muted tones like black, slate, or deep stone fruit colors in the fall, runway trends suggest shoppers should stand out against the autumnal landscape.

“We tend to think of bold colors only for the warmer seasons but, according to some designers, color isn’t going anywhere,” said Jessica Lemos, an Astoria-based style blogger. She mentioned the Christian Dior Fall 2014 Couture Collection, which incorporates dashes of bright primary colors, like magenta shoes contrasted against basic black leggings or opaque wool coats.

Other high-end designers like Oscar de la Renta also embraced color this fall, constructing pieces in emerald, burgundy and cerulean.

Lemos also noted how summery Bohemian-inspired pieces will carry over into fall wardrobes.

H&M, which is focusing on black-and-white contrasts this season, has an assortment of accent pieces like a cobalt blue chunky-knit top and an electric fuchsia fine-knit cardigan. Expect similar bursts of color in handbags and warm accessories like scarves and hats.

Colorful accents also play a key role in men’s fashion. Bright hats, scarves, socks or patterned ties are featured at Urban Outfitters, J.Crew and Givenchy. For materials, leather, suede, and denim are popular.

Prints and patterns are also more extravagant; there are more floral prints (think graphic tropical flowers, not feminine daisies). Geometric prints, embraced by designers such as Carolina Herrera (who’s sprinkled chunky trapezoids throughout brightly colored pieces) and eclectic tribal-inspired designs are also in demand.

In menswear, plaid is still a popular material for shirts and shorts.

The much-anticipated Sept. 14 launch of the collaboration between designer Joseph Altuzarra and Target features striking animal prints — another trademark of the season.

Ivona Bilicic, owner of Loveday 31 on 31st Ave. in Astoria, said that styles gesturing back to the 1960s — like Yves Saint Laurent’s mod schoolgirl look — are making a comeback. On the runway, Miu Miu and Valentino paid homage to optical prints, and other Mad Man-esque designs.

Her boutique is vintage, but Bilicic curates pieces according to trends. Her shop features modern jewelry — some from Queens-based designers Pretty Picnic and Rebel Chic — adorned with geometric shapes, or woven with fine leather.

“I think there are so many unique individuals walking the streets of Queens,” Bilicic said.

Another decade that made a resurgence in spring fashion and will continue to in the fall is the 1990s; expect to see baggy outlines via relaxed blazers, billowing jackets and even overalls.

Oversized and exaggerated silhouettes are also in. Alexander McQueen’s runway show seemed to go overboard with gigantic outerwear enveloping models with mountainous robe coats, turtlenecks and shawls.

In pants, boyfriend jeans — relaxed denim, straight-legged pants that purposefully look a bit big — are in demand.

Speaking of denim, “denim on denim on denim” seems to be a focal point this season. Expect to see pieces like patchwork long-sleeved shirts or pants. Two-toned denim — perhaps where it fades into a white bleached wash — is this fall’s subtle spin on the trend of color-blocking.

Several lines use denim in unexpected ways, such as high heels (Acne Studios) or sunglasses (RayBan). Comfortable yet crisp chambray tops are also a staple at shops like Gap, Madewell and Levi’s.

For those who seek earthier styles, a western trend is also emerging. Look out for fringed jackets or even skirts constructed from curtains of full fringe. Bourbon-toned leather jackets, raw denim, fur accents, ornate western belts forged from nickel or bronze and broad-rimmed hats reminiscent of spaghetti westerns are at the forefront of this nostalgic trend.

Many shoes this season are works of art in and of themselves. An up-and-coming trend is quirky shoes that feature unexpected silhouettes or surreal accents. Don’t shy away from sky-high statement platforms, big buckles or straps that criss-cross in unique designs. For instance, Veneta created a black suede pump with a touch of whimsy — fingers of fabric seemingly creep up the ankle.

In menswear, brown leather dress shoes are popping up everywhere.

Sneakers are especially chic in both men’s and women’s fashion; for women, sneakers with electric glitter fabrics (think disco balls, on your feet!) are in. Converse recently unveiled a line inspired by DC Comics, with vibrant images of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

Jason Delfino, a Queens Village native and CEO of G. Moba, a new line of video game-inspired clothing, said consumers should expect to see more technology as time goes on.

Delfino mentioned the Motiif “M” smart trench coat that charges a wearer’s smartphone.

“People are getting much more tech-savvy with their fashion,” Delfino said. “The consumer wants to know how to make the brand stick out and how they can serve them beyond the image.”

G. Moba makes “App jackets,” which are built with a card that wearers can scan to share iPhone apps with friends.

Delfino assures consumers that there’s no need to have bells and whistles to dress futuristically; the Japanese company Uniqlo patented an ultra-thin fabric that still insulates, which is perfect for keeping warm yet remaining slim and chic.

“In the world of fashion, everyone ultimately wants to have a platform to express themselves,” Delfino said. “We all have something to say.”

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