In these frigid days of blizzards, rapid winds, and negative temperatures, it can be difficult to imagine the upcoming warm, sunny days filled with beach outings, picnics, and outdoor concerts. Beyond that, the fall season strikes again where we begin to gradually layer our clothing again and bundle up for the next few months, of what can feel at times, like hibernation.
From last week through the weekend, it was time for another StyleMax fashion market, held at the Merchandise Mart, in downtown Chicago. I truly enjoy working these markets for numerous reasons, mainly because I get to preview what designer’s trends are to be for the upcoming seasons. To give you a bit of background about what StyleMax is and what I do there, I will fill you in on the basics. StyleMax is a women’s apparel and accessory tradeshow where designers and well-known brands showcase their latest and greatest collections. Buyers from boutiques, spas, and larger stores from all around the world register to enter and walk around to their favorite exhibitors where representatives, like me, show them our latest collections. Buyers then decide whether or not pieces from those collections will sell to their customer base in their stores and if it will coincide with other items already purchased from different exhibitors. From the early start to the day to when the show floor closes down, it is a constant selling atmosphere and is difficult to view other designer’s collections and speak with them. Therefore, I usually forego taking a long lunch and instead choose to walk the aisles of fashion and fun.
This fall, the minimalism trend carries over. Focus lies more on detailed stitching, cut, and the overall quality of the garment. Be on the lookout for warm color tones such as heather beiges, browns, and grays. Also, the line for jackets and sweaters becomes a bit hazy as the two create a hybrid leading to heavier sweaters that double as a coat if you were to go outside. Think oversized, longer, cozier outerwear. Details of large ribbing, cable knit, and tie-waists are visible along with the idea of “looking chic without trying” by adding some fur trimming to a number of its’ pieces giving off a sense of luxury. As most exhibitors were not showing fall quite yet, still focused on spring and summer wear, one of the lines I represent is always ahead of the game and blows me away with the inventions and creations made with each fall collection. This show, Katherine Barclay focused on asymmetrical cut sweaters, trapeze cut tops, and dresses that could be worn from day to night while allowing for comfort with its knit fabric. Other labels are welcoming back the wide-leg trouser with easy going tops. In terms of accessories – the more unique the better. Accessories will be the way to make your statement in terms of dress this fall. From chunky to ruffled, bubbled or absolutely absurd, you’re options are endless with these upcoming items!
Even though days like this week make me never want to see a snowflake or put on a goose-down parka ever again, it is trends and collections like these that have me waiting in anticipation and excitement for my favorite stores to decide what to purchase and make available for me and other customers. Until the next StyleMax fashion market where we will feature holiday 2011 looks, I will leave you with happy thoughts of intimate sweaters and novel accessories.