Skip to content

Wrapping it Up: The Trends of Fall 2011

March 9, 2011

Anti-Semitism! Firings! Hirings! Rumors flying! Shocking aesthetic 180s! The best of trends! The worst of trends! Oh, what a season!

What to make of all of this? Well, there was a wide range of vision represented across the fashion globe, but there was a handful of great trends (and some not so great ones) that caught my eye throughout the shows. I won’t bother with the reemerging trends. Yes, there was a gigantic number of furs, hemlines are still long, and there continued to be a lot of seventies influence. But, what’s new and exciting? Let me break it down for you.


I already wrote about how I was noticing a trend of designers gaining inspiration from nature, but New Yorkers weren’t the only designers with the woods on their minds. The most prevalent theme throughout the shows was that designers were rejecting urban sensibilities and looking to the wilderness for inspiration. For some it was the mountains, for others it was the Wild West (mostly through Navajo prints), and for others still it was the prairies. Sets featured trees, rocks, sand, and ash and the tones tended towards earthy, laid-back, and relaxed.



Proenza Schouler

The seventies and nineties were still major influences, but the reemergence of thirties and forties fashion was not too far behind. What was really interesting, though, was the unexpected popularity of details and silhouettes from the Victorian Age. I guess designers got tired of cycling through the same decades of the twentieth century over and over again. High collars, tidy rows of buttons, antique lace, and billowing sleeves showed up on a number of runways. Not to mention the two shows that name-checked Miss Haversham as their muse.


Jason Wu

Vera Wang

There is always a touch of boy-meets-girl in every season, but interpreting the favored trend so literally was pervasive. Tuxedo-dressing popped up all over the place, sometimes with nary a feminine touch. Androgynous? More like cross-dressing.

Ralph Lauren

Prabal Gurung

Jason Wu


I can barely contain my excitement at how many capes there were this season! (I’m pretty sure every time one came on the screen I pointed at my computer and yelled “CAPE!”) The variety they were showed in was awesome: full-length, hip-length, waist-length, wool, fur, leather, enclosed, one-button, cape-coats. You name it, it was on one runway or another. Thankfully, I’m already prepared with my vintage navy cape from the sixties.

Rebecca Minkoff


Yves St Laurent

If you don’t already have your go-to leather jacket (or two, or three) then start shopping now. If there’s one thing I got loud and clear this season, it’s that every fashionista worth her salt needs to have one. (Leather wasn’t just in its normal biker jacket form either. It graced coats, dresses, pants, and skirts.)

Rick Owens

Junya Watanabe


Hemlines fell to the floor for dresses and skirts two seasons ago, but this season the trend carried over to coats. There were endless lust-worthy coats shown in the past month, but the most intriguing were the nearly ubiquitous maxi coat. Man oh man would a woman make a statement wearing one of these on the street!


Michael Kors



It was a surprisingly colorful Fall season this year! But there were three colors that were clearly the front-runners for most coveted come September. (Okay, there were four, but I hate mustard so I’m ignoring that.)

Blues and Purples




Haider Ackermann

Christian Dior


Chado Ralph Rucci


Michael Kors

A Note on Accessories

I don’t have much of a vocabulary for accessories, so my commentary is slim, but there were a couple of items that seemed to be favored including lace-up knee-high boots, roomy elbow-length gloves, fedoras, and floppy hats.

Worst. Trends. Ever.

(And yes, that was my second reference to The Simpsons in my fashion season coverage. I don’t know where my head’s at.)

Don’t get me wrong, I was a huge fan of this season. Even though I still ache for the time when designers weren’t so constrained by marketability and felt free to take risks, I thought there was a steady stream of incredibly beautiful and surprisingly wearable clothes. But, no season is flawless. There were two big trends that made me reel back and go “What the what?”

I was shocked by the return of the drop-waist, but I now think it is the least offensive of the two. However, it can’t be forgotten. Like I said, I just don’t think it’s flattering on anyone. Boo.



Vivienne Tam

But here’s something that’s really bizarre and upsetting. Sure, we’ve gotten pretty used to seeing their pelts on the runway these past few seasons, but there was an alarming number of animals showing face this year. And I’m not talking animal prints, or even the poodles from Isaac Mizrahi.  I’m talking pictures of animals on high-end designer clothing. B’excuse me? I am not okay with this. I don’t understand how I haven’t read a single criticism of this strange turn of events. Come on, fashion journalists, take a stand already! Sometimes, designers are fallible. For example:

Emanuel Ungaro


Jill Stuart

So, there you have it. How will you be interpreting the trends come Fall?


One Comment leave one →
  1. March 9, 2011 5:27 pm

    You would point at the computer and yell cape.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: