Colgate Couture: Fabulous Fall

Emily Johnson

Fall is my absolute favorite season. After a long summer, we’re all back to school and before you know it, we’re putting away the Pulitzer and unpacking the Patagonia. The leaves on the trees eventually begin to change, and it becomes time to head to class layered in fall pieces such as plaid shirts, tailored blazers and classic leather boots.

For me, the best part about fall is the seven most stylish days of the season: New York City Fashion Week. Industry insiders from around the world all travel to Manhattan’s Bryant Park to celebrate the upcoming season’s latest styles and trends. The week is packed with fashion shows, after-parties and the best people watching one could ask for.

It is not coincidence that the September issues of the industry’s leading fashion magazines, such as Vogue and Marie Claire, are the largest issues of the entire year. Fall could arguably be fashion’s biggest season. Since designers always show their collections a season early, last February the fall 2009 runways were filled with bold shoulders, military influence and both metal and fur accenting. Trends such as exposed zippers, cutout booties and ’80s pieces (think acid wash jeans and tons of sequin) were predicted to be huge for this fall.

This past week, Manhattan was filled with women who looked as though they had stepped right off the runway. I was impressed by how each had perfectly mastered a smart combination of both classic and trendy pieces. I spotted white jeans worn with motorcycle boots, floral dresses matched with menswear oxford shoes and boyfriend blazers paired with brightly colored sheaths.

Over the past few seasons, I have had the opportunity to attend the show of Brian Reyes, one of my favorite designers. Reyes is famous in the industry for his clean silhouettes and both feminine and elegant designs. He is also widely known for dressing celebrities such as Rachel Bilson, Ivanka Trump and Rachel McAdams.

For his fall collection, Reyes was inspired by stone quarries and incorporated this influence by working with interesting patterns and natural colors. He used classic designs, yet transformed them into memorable creations through the addition of texture, embellishment and pleating.

What I always take away from his collections is the importance of balance in any wardrobe. There is absolutely no need to rock your new marbled jeans with a huge studded belt, faux fur vest and fringed knee-high boots. It’s great that you scored some awesome fall trends, but we don’t need to see them on you all at once. Your closet will go much longer if you concentrate on one or two trendy items at a time.

Wear your staple skinny jeans with a simple tee and then compliment them with a bold necklace and tweed jacket. Please enjoy those ripped boyfriend jeans (one of my favorite trends), but make them more feminine with a fitted sweater, structured bag and classic flats.

So even though we’re not all able to attend Fashion Week in the city, that doesn’t mean fall at Colgate should be any less stylish. Put away your sundresses and metallic sandals and bring out your sweaters, suede boots and leather jackets. Fall provides us with crisp weather to compliment these fabulous fashions, so layer up and enjoy Central New York’s most beautiful season.