Friday, September 16, 2011

Top Ten for Fall 2011 Part 6 - Heavy Metal

6.  Metal to the Max

In my last post I looked at what is probably the "lightest" of the fall trends, feathers; in this one, we'll take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum and a trend I'll refer to as "Heavy Metal."
Alexander McQueen RTW30 "
Maxime Simoens
Alexander McQueen Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Maxim Simoens Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Antonio Berardi
Aquilano E Rimondi
Antonio Rerardi Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Aquilano E. Rimondi Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Emanuel Ungar0 4

This year, in many of the high-end collections, we're seeing metal, and lots of it. From studs and spikes to metal zippers that are meant to be seen, designers are making a statement with hardware. As you can see from the photos above and to the right, this trend can be interpreted in numerous ways. While the Alexander McQueen design, top left, is pure fantasy, the Maxime Simoens ensemble, top right, is quite wearable, and could easily border on the "Lady Chic" trend.
In the two center designs, Antonio Berardi, left; and Aquilano E. Rimondi, right, lend a new interpretation to the hardware trend. Both designers take somewhat traditional office-approrpriate styles and give them an "80's rocker meets city exec" spin. Emanuel Ungaro's look is both polished and edgy at the same time with his creative use of zippers mated with shimmery hosiery and delicate sandals. While this trend has not saturated the mainstream markets to the degree of most other current trends, I did find some interesting pieces in retail if you'd like to add a touch of hardware to your wardrobe.
Emanuel Ungaro Collection Fall 2011
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.

Heavy Metal at Retail:
MICHAEL Michael Kors
Python Embossed Jacket
and Leather Cargo Skirt
$500.00 $350.00/$400.00 $280
Neiman Marcus
INC International Concepts
Sleeveless Studded-Front Tank

2 B Rych
Sleeveless Zipper-Waist Dress
Neiman Marcus
Note, in the ensembles above, that when the use of metal or hardware is prevalent, accessories have been kept simple and somewhat delicate. This is the contrast that brings the metal look into a modern focus.
Daytrip Pyramid Stud Convertible Jacket
Black Studded Pencil Skirt
$21.99 $11.00
DH Styles
BKE Grommet Vest
To update the separates shown above, try pairing them with sophisticated, somewhat dressy partners. For instance, when wearing the jacket (which by the way converts to a vest), upper left, try a faux leather just-above-the-knee length faux leather skirt and somewhat sculptural black high-heel sandals or booties with neutral hosiery. The vest, upper right will look very modern when matched to a longer-length gray pencil skirt or slim-cut trousers. High-heel pumps or sandals with sheer gray or off-black hosiery will complete the ensemble. The skirt in the center will work nicely with a simple long sleeve black, brown or mustard tee, a faux fur vest in shades of beige and brown, along with high-heel black booties and opaque black pantyhose.
     A big part of the fun of the metal look is in fall's newest accessories. A few of my picks, and
     how to wear them are shown below.
GC Shoes Zack Boot
Bling Over the Knee Boot
Midnight Velvet
Michael Antonio "Oliver" Boot
While great "metal" apparel may be in somewhat short supply in the mainstream retail market, there is no shortage of wonderful accessories, and boots and shoes top that list. I selected the Zach boot because it falls nicely into two fall trends, "metal" of course, but also riding boots will be very popular this season and this one will work nicely in that spot...with a bit of added flair. The "Bling" boots in the center photo will add instant glamour and edge to a dressier look. I can see these working with a a somewhat tailored pencil skirt and jacket with perhaps an animal print top, or even a classic cashmere sweater. They would also be an excellent choice with leggings. I live the "Oliver" boot for two reasons. First of all, I love the buckle hardware detailing. It will add a definite attitue with whatever you should pair it with, but I also like it because it is gray - one of the hottest colors for this fall. Think gray monochromatic looks with this boot.
Alice + Olivia Wrapsround Leather Boots
Neiman Marcus
Alexander McQueen #261537
$1,195.00 $717.00
Casadei Studded Ankle Boots
Neiman Marcus
I love the Alice + Olivia 'Wrapsaround' bootie because of its simplicity. It has just a hint of metal and will work with many clothing styles from jeans to glam. The Alexander McQueen bootie in the center is just plain fun! It features his signature skull and gold instead of the typically chrome hardware that you tend to find with this look. My favorite, though, is the Casadei Studded ankle boot, upper right. It features chrome studs across the entire shaft while the pointed toe lends a very dressy look to the boot. I'd wear this one almost anywhere with nearly any style of clothing for fun rough and tumble attitude.

Betsey Johnson Rocker Chic Shoulder Bag
Stuart Weitzman Zapzip Black Sport Suede
The two handbags above are a perfect compliment to the "Heavy Metal" style. The bag on the left, by Betsey Johnson is accented with grommets and chains. It could be your favorite go-to bag for casual situations. The Stuart Weitzman doctor-style bag on the right could be your favorite for dress occasions. It is constucted of suede for a very rich textural appeal, however the bold strategically placed studs and the heavy chain on the strap give it all the edge you could want.
NMzappos NM
Valentino Rockstud Asymmetic Bootie
Neiman Marcus
Sam Edelman 'Lorissa' Pump
Jimmy Choo Grommet Ankle-Wrap Sandal
Neiman Marcus
The bootie, above left, is part of Valentino's 'Rockstud' collection.  It's an entire collection of footwear and handbags with a rock 'n' roll attitude.  All pieces are bedecked in golden studs.  There's quite a variety here, black and brown leather, snakeskin, animal prints; heels, flats, dressy, and casual, all with a distinctive edge.  Definitely worth cheking out!  I also love the attitude of the Sam Edelman pump, above center.  You'll make quite an impact when wearing this shoe!  If sexy is the mood you're looking for, go no further than Jimmy Choo's ankle-strap sandal, above right. 
Christian Louboutin 'Pigalili' Pump
Christian Louboutin
'Maggie' Pump
Christian Louboutin
As far as designers with a "metal" edge go, I really don't think that Christian Louboutin's Fall collection can be matched.  His purses are as captivating as his legendary shoes, as you can see from the photos below.  The 'Pigalili' pump, above left, is an exclusive, available only in his salon, but what a beauty it is!  Metallicized silver and all-over studs - pin-up girl meets rocker chic is the inclination of this hot number!  The 'Maggie' pump, above right, is another of his designs with a 'bad-girl' twist.  Love the chain-work at the toe of this shoe.  The spherical, studded clutch, below left, is another masterpiece!  I can imagine a totally lady-like gown with this bag.  What a stylish contrast!  The 'Artimis' bag, below center, is one that will go the distance.  It will work with jeans and pretty much everything else in your daytime wardrobe - practical and provocative at the same time.  The 'Sweet Charity' cross-body is another fun bag.  Smaller in size, it will take you from everyday to special occasions in high style.
Saks       CLSaks
Christian Louboutin Studded Ball Clutch
Saks Fifth Avenue
      Christian Louboutin 'Artemis' Studded Sholderbag
Neiman Marcus
Christian Louboutin 'Sweet Charity' Studded Crossbody Bag
Saks Fifth Avenue
While all of the shoe and handbag styles I've showcased are high-end design, I'm starting to see some similar styles at Burlington and T.J. Maxx.  I expect to see a great deal more of this
trend as the season progresses and into the coming fashion seasons as well.  While spring and summer tend to move into lighter and brighter colors which don't lend themselves quite as well to this look, it still figured prominently the spring shows of several designers including Alexander Wang and Betsey Johnson who reinterpreted the look in white.  And speaking of Betsey Johnson, I couldn't resist including her 'Love Bites' bracelet (left), in this post.  It works so well with the spicy mood of the metal panache.

Four more fall trends to cover and then we'll do a little preview of what's coming for spring.  Both seasons promise to bring with them some very invigorating fashion!

Betsey Johnson 'Glitter Critter - Love Bites' Bracelet

Stylishly yours,

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