Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Top Ten for Fall 2011 Part 10 - Capes

10.  Capes

One of Fall's freshest and most appealing trends is the reappearance of the cape - and when I speak of capes, I mean capes, ponchos, ruanas, and all similar styles of wraps. They are back and back in numbers! The cape trend seems to branch into about four different sub-trends. The first we'll look at is what I refer to as "Polished and Proper".

ValentinoBill Blass
Valentino Couture Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Bill Blass Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
This style is characterized with luxurious capes for day-wear, usually in classic lines. These capes have a somewhat retro elegance about them, taking us back to a place and time when women, or shall we say, ladies, were always attired in a polished manner. Here are some great retail pieces, which are fortunately found with a broad spectrum of price tags.
Retail - Polished and Proper
St. John Cashmere Cape
Neiman Marcus
Sofia Fox-Trimmed Cashmere Cape
Neiman Marcus
Michael Kors Stretch Cashmere Ruana
Neiman Marcus
Milly 'Belle' Suede Trim Cape
Parkhurst 'Desmona' Cape
Lanvin Tuxedo Collar Wool Cape
Yves Saint Laurent Wool Tuxedo Cape Jacket
Saks Fifth Avenue
Rachel Roy Cape with Detachable Fur Collar
New York & Company Black Cape
New York & Company
An off-shoot of the Polished and Proper look, that is widely available at retail is the 'Equestrian Look'. Still polished and proper, this look is more casual, but definitely has a look all its own, typically worn with riding boots and riding pants or jeans.
Retail - Equestrian Look
Ralph Lauren Black Label Wool Cape
Saks Fifth Avenue
Burberry Reversible Cape
Saks Fifth Avenue
Via Spiga Asymmetrical Zip Cape with Faux Leather Trim
$170.00 $99.00
Another popular look to rise from the popularity of capes is what I'll refer to as 'Modern Edge'. Still elegant and sophisticated, but very clean-lined and architectural. Dressier than 'Equestrian', but more structural than 'Polished and Proper'.
Albino Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Lanvin Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.

In the 'Modern Edge' look capes of simple, clean lines are paired with other items of equally streamlined cuts. Pants or skirts tend to be straight and narrow. Classic pumps and neutral hosiery accent the Albino and Lanvin styles. At AKRIS a monochromatic look is achieved with legs and booties of a close hue.

Below you'll find some of my pics at retail for great capes for the 'Modern Edge' look.
AKRIS Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Retail - Modern Edge
Michael Kors Wool Blend Cape
Burberry Brit Wool Cape
AKRIS Snap Closure Cape
Saks Fifth Avenue
Note: This is the same cape
featured in the runway photo.
A great thing about these capes is their versatility! Many capes can do triple duty for all three of the above looks with just a change of clothing and accessories. Rule of thumb - the simpler the cape, the more flexible, so consider this an investment piece. It's one item of clothing that will give you and incredible amount of mileage for your dollar!

Another, very differnt look for capes is the '70's Boho Look, which is also quite popular right now.


Rag and BoneAlexis Mabille
Rag & Bone Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Alexis Mabille Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
This is an 'anything goes' type of look. Ensembles can be neutral or boldly hued. Look for lots of accents such as fringe, fur, and feathers; a relaxed 'hippie' style that is at its best with jeans, typically flared, but can be dressed up with wider leg pants as seen in the Alexis Mabille photo above right. This is a fun look that can be accessorized wildly, as also noted by the shoes in the same photo. Ponchos as well as capes are a big part of this style. Here are some of my picks from retail.

Retail - Boho Look
Gucci Cape with Zip Detailing
Neiman Marcus
Diane von Furstenberg 'Leighton' Fringed Cape
Neiman Marcus
Gucci Fur Cape
Saks Fifth Avenue
MacysSpiegelLord and Taylor
Tommy Hilfiger Cowl-Neck Hooded Poncho
Spiegel Contrast-Trim Sweater-Cape
Iniko Flutter-Sleeve Top
$178.00 $89.00
Lord & Taylor
!!!HOT BUY!!!
As you can see, this Bohemian look is quite enticing and a great deal of fun. The Iniko cape-top from Lord & Taylor is a steal at the mark-down price. I can see it with the pants featured in the catalog as well as jeans, leggings and over the knee boots, or in a tonal combination with wide-leg pants such as in the Alexis Maybille photo.

There's another aspect to the cape trend that I'd like to share before closing, however. The appeal of the cape has spread to numerous dress designs producing a charming and elegant new twist. Take a look at some of the beauties available at retail. My personal favorite is the red Lanvin.
Retail - Dresses
Jay Godfrey 'Predock' Asymmetrical Sleeve Silk Dress
Georgio Armani Cape Sleeve Velvet Dress
Neiman Marcus
Lanvin Cape-Sleeve Dress
Neiman Marcus
I really love this trend. While I don't exactly want to wish warm weather away, I can't wait to start putting looks together using my recent cape purchase! There are just a couple more
things I'd like to share with you before closing.

The first is surprisingly a shoe. Who'd have thought shoes would be getting into this act? I was taken by both surprise and delight when I discovered these caped evening sandals by Alexander Wang on the Saks Fifth Avenue web site.  I love the imagination and whimsy here!

The Yves Saint Laurent cape and jumpsuit, below, is my absolute favorite pick from this trend.  It was featured his the Fall 2011 collection and is now available at retail.  I've always loved the drama of a cape in the evening, and the simplicity of this design coupled with its sophisitcation and element of surprise is breathtaking!

The classic cape is once again fresh and exciting.  The designers have completely outdone themselves in reinventing the cape and its variations and bringing them into all of the popular looks of the  
Alexander Wang
'Fabiana' Metallic Patent Leather Sandals
Saks Fifth Avenue
season.  We've seen capes with fur, capes with leather, capes with fringe, capes of cashmere, and capes of silk.  We've seen dresses with capes and even shoes with capes!  My prediction is that we're going to be seeing lots more capes and their variations for the next several seasons, so pick your favorite and let the fun begin! 

Now that I've wrapped up my "Top Ten Trend" posts, we'll be looking at how to incorporate these trends into your current wardrobe.  Even if your taste is caviar, and your budget is peanut butter and jelly. 

I'm also hoping to get a couple of "field trips" photographed and added, and of course, there are a few trends that didn't make the top ten, but are relevant nonetheless,  that I'll be posting in a similar manner to these. 

For those who like to plan ahead, I'll be bringing some of the designer runway looks for the coming spring. 

I hope you've enjoyed these posts and have taken away at least a few ideas to put into action as the summer wardrobe is replaced by fall and winter.     There's lots more planned too, so I hope you'll check in often and consider following this blog.  Comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome.
Yves Saint Laurent
Chain Neck Cape $1,990.00
& Chiffon Halter Jumpsuit $1,990.00
Neiman Marcus


Stylishly yours,

No comments:

Post a Comment