September 4, 2011 Fall 2011 Trend: Southwest Influences
I occasionally forget it (actually almost all the time), but I was born in Arizona, specifically the Phoenix metropolitan area. I moved from the extremely hot state when I was a child to the northwest, and have since moved to the pacific northwest (Seattle). Looking at the collections for fall I was taken back to my childhood home of the southwest and how truly beautiful it is, with the collections from designers like Proenza Schouler, Dries van Noten, and others. Some were subtle with their desert influences, while others were more literal in styling and design. American inspiration also went a little further east at designers like Rodarte, who were highly inspired, yet not in a cheesy way, by mid-western Kansas and The Wizard of Oz. Even french designers like Isabel Marant took inspiration from the native American culture, and aesthetic. Here are some highlights.
Dries van Noten, as I have mentioned before, is the ultimate mix master. He is not timid when it comes to pattern and color mixology. For fall, that continued with beautiful marriages of patterns and textures. A few looks involved geometric beaded fabrics in black and white combinations, with a little of the emerald-green that’s so key for fall. These patterns remind me of a modern Navajo blanket you could pick up in Taos or Sedona.
A vivid memory I have of my 8 years in Arizona is the intense lighting and thunder storms that would happen in the summer. This jacket reminds me of the gorgeous colors that would light up the sky.
A classic bag shape from Roger Vivier is given a touch of the west when executed in suede with a whip-stitch detail. This could definitely work as a daytime bag for you diehard RV fan.
The duo at Proenza Schouler, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, were very influenced by the southwest, but also mixed in tribal-like prints maybe not directly American. This dress is so chic in how it is cut and wraps around, with edges in leather, and with a hint of metallic bronze. Very reminiscent of the desert tones and landscape.
A few neutral and solid looks made it into the show for perfect relief from the great colors and patterns. This look involving three separates makes me think of the sandy floor and surrounding mountains of Arizona. I love how Hernandez and McCollough styled the models with their tops casually tucked in.
A printed sweater and pant work together for two reasons. First of all, the color palette is essentially the same, and second, the prints are two different scales. They always have great accessories too!
The modernity of this orange coat and leather top are perfect companions to the printed pant.
Another supple leather top is casually untucked and works so well with another duo of patterns.
This beaded skirt makes me think of the lovely turquoise jewelry so deeply connected with the southwest. www.proenzaschouler.com
Pamela Love’s fall collection of silver and rock crystal combinations would add a little modern southwest to a basic look. DO NOT wear head-to-toe turquoise, please!! It’s beautiful in moderation. This cuff would be so chic with a white tee shirt and jeans. www.pamelalovenyc.com
I’m honestly not a huge fan of the boots shown with almost every look at Isabel Marant, but I really like most of the looks, including this fringed mini that would perfectly show off the remains of your summer tan heading into fall. It’s always important to me that if a dress is super leggy to be covered up elsewhere as seen here with the long sleeve and higher round neck.
Such a great piece to pick up! Shown here as a knitted poncho-like dress, this would be fabulous over a legging jean and boots.
I love this patterned dress and the opposing pattern of the southwest-inspired cardigan.
Look for sweaters with great patterns and details at your local thrift and vintage stores.
Printed mini skirts and dresses look great under winter-ready outerwear with fur and shearling.
The wheat fields and sky for days of the mid-west translate so nicely to the flawlessly draped dresses at Rodarte. The whole show was comprised of neutrals in shades of cream, wheat, and corn husk. A couple red looks at the end of the show made it clear that the Mulleavy sisters had Judy Garland on the mind and were not in Manhattan anymore.
Dorothy would surely trade her red slippers in for these sparkly heels from Miu Miu, available in different combinations of silver, gold and subtle color. Click your heels all you want in these!
Karlie Kloss is channeling a little bit of a cross between Dorothy and the Wicked Witch in this sweet-but-not dress with pointed shoulders and heeled boots.
Speaking of my northwestern home, nearby Oregon-based Pendleton, which has been family-owned for over 140 years, continues the tradition of high-quality woolens inspired by native american blankets that are such a beautiful element of the American aesthetic. The new Portland collection takes that tradition and those amazing patterns and gives it a modern spin for a new generation. Separates ranging from classic outerwear, knits, high-waisted skirts, and cardigans all make great additions to your fall closet without breaking the bank. I know I have my eye on some cardigans. I have a cardigan obsession! www.pendleton-usa.com