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fashion. Fall 2013 Trend Forecast

fashion. Fall 2013 Trend Forecast

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Top 12 Trends You Will Need To Know About Come Fall

There are some overarching themes for Fall 2013, for example: modern leopard prints, strategic layering, winter whites. However, the big question is which trends will have mass appeal come September?

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The New Leopard

While first hearing "leopard prints" may initially bring up the words - slightly dated, there are plenty of designers—including DKNY and Giambattista Valli— who put a cool, modern stamp on the motif. Often shown head-to-toe, in colorful prints, and on oversize silhouettes, this fall's leopard is anything but tacky.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Fair to Strong.

Shoppers may not invest in a designer piece with such a notice-me print. While fast fashion stores like Zara and H&M will absolutely churn out its own takes, folks who don't closely follow fashion may not realize it's actually quite different from the flashy traditional leopard prints they've come to know.  

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Colored Fur

Overall, fur made an especially strong showing on runways for fall in various forms, but it was the use of bold colors that caught the eye—from the jackets at Monique Lhuillier and Tom Ford, to the saturated fur scarves at Marni and Roksanda Illincic.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Slim

We're talking about the masses here and not the fashion industry, who've already been spotted during Fashion Month in various pieces of colored fur. If shoppers decide to invest in a fur coat or scarf, I'd put my money on that they stick to black or brown. Again, I'm sure high-street stores will dole out plenty of colored faux fur come fall, however I anticipate quite a lot of women adopting a "I could never pull it off" mentality. 

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Black And White Separates

Fashion's chicest pairing—black and white—was a major running theme on the runways, most often shown using contrasting separates in interesting shapes, capped off by equally monochromatic accessories.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Strong
C'mon, everyone has at least one solid black and one solid white piece, right? Plus, it's not particularly trendy, and doesn't require a great deal of commitment or cash.

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The "It" Layer

Layering in general was major on fall runways, with scores of designers showcasing shirts under sweaters under jackets under coats. However, the most widespread manifestation seemed to be to be a long-sleeve top—a turtleneck or button-down—underneath a structured tee or three-quarter-sleeve shirt with a round neck. Overall, the look adds a modern, fashion-forward edge to otherwise fairly uneventful staples.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Fair

Fashion followers are a given, but since it's not a one-garment trend I can see women being hesitant to have to seek out the pieces to achieve the look. However, most of us do have a turtleneck or a button-down, and I'm already seeing tons of structured tops with cropped sleeves. It's possible that ladies might test out this layering technique if the elements are accessible.  

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Knee-High Boots

For the past few years, it seems women have bypassed tall heeled boots in favor of more modern-feeling booties, but that's set to change come fall. Scores of designers breathed new life into structured to-the-knee-boots decked with chunky heels, often pairing them with swing mini skirts and dresses and oversized tops.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Strong
Knee-high flat boots never really went out of style, so I'm confident that the shape isn't something women inherently shy away from. After so many years of high-heeled ankle booties, I feel women will welcome the vertical shaft climb, especially when styled with new shapes and silhouettes, which will make tall boots feel especially fresh. 

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Same-Print Mixing

While super-opposing prints—like chevron and florals—have been popular on recent runways, it seems print-mixing is taking a slightly different road for fall. Several designers showcased pieces with the same or similar prints in different sizes and colors, and paired them together.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Fair

Actually mixing two or more separates with the same print might appear to be too busy for the average consumer, but I'm banking on several labels and stores watering down the trend a bit. How, you ask? I've already bared witness in stores like Forever 21, Zara and H&M of hawk printed blouses whose sleeves or collars feature the same print as the body but in a different color or scale.

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Pink, Pink, Pink

I have to say I was surprised at the sheer number of looks on the runways that featured shades of pink. Dresses, outerwear, suits, and basic sportswear were all interpreted using the color, with many designers counterbalancing its sweetness with innovative, modern silhouettes.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Fair

While pink is an especially isolating hue—many women swear they wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot-pole—I'm predicting the shade will show up in ways that are consumer friendly (i.e., denim, slouchy pants, pencil skirts, etc.). 

 

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Overcoats, Oversized

Not merely a bit loose, Fall's overcoats are drastically oversized, with dropped shoulders, extra-long cuffs, and large lapels. 

Mass-Appeal Factor: Slim
Everyone knows runway models can flaunt an old plastic bag on the runway and still make it look desirable. The fact remains that certain looks just won't translate. Dramatically large coats are likely to be unflattering on the average woman, and they only work with certain outfits—which goes against the idea of an all-purpose piece of outerwear. 

I do, however, think women will take to slightly larger menswear-style overcoats, as long as it looks like it fits. 

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Chic Sweatshirts

The luxe sweatshirt trend I've come to know during the past year doesn't seem to be  going anywhere, with designers such as Karen Walker, Rebecca Minkoff, and Matthew Williamson showcasing their own versions often paired with swing skirts or skinny trousers.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Strong

Like I said, I've already seen a huge influx of "fashion" sweatshirts this year, from Kenzo's coveted interpretation, to Zara's many offerings. Plus, it was the designer sweatshirts that were the first to sell out in Target's two most recent collections (Neiman Marcus and Prabal Gurung), which is a sign people are still hungry for chic sweats.  

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The Under-Arm Bag Tuck

Street style fans may have noticed a variety of editors, bloggers, and other trend-setters toting around large bags under their arms, clutch-style. What's the big idea? They're not clutches. Nope, these are full-on satchels and totes, complete with handles. 

Mass-Appeal Factor: Very slim.
What's the point of buying a bag with handles, only to shove it under your arm and grip it from the bottom? That's the question I can imagine most women asking, and I can't really blame them. There's something highly overdone about the grip, not to mention its implicit "look at my designer bag!" message. Even so, It's not just top editors and bloggers who have adopted this method: Labels like Prada and Givenchy starting using it in print campaigns. 

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Winter Whites

White was a major force on fall runways, with designers showcasing head-to-toe looks using modern separates in varying shades of stark, ivory, and cream.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Strong

While too many shoppers are likely caught up in the cliché "no white after labor day" rule, I have an inkling feeling that mindset might start to shift. I anticipate pale coats, jeans, boxy sweaters, and accessories being standouts, although winter-white shoes—which were huge on runways and on showgoers' feet—might not catch on as quickly.  

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Bokeh Prints

Bokeh—a photography term for what looks like blurred lights—was showcased as a print on fall runways, mostly on evening-ready dresses and skirts.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Slim to Fair
Shoppers likely won't seek out bokeh prints for the sake of the print itself, but if they find a piece they like that happens to feature it, I'm pretty sure they won't discard it. 

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