Doucette Duvall is the perfect line for Coterie. It's just high end enough to have it's own off site show at the Ritz Carlton, just under-the-radar enough to be carried at the coolest boutiques in New York and have a small, loyal following. We caught up the Doucette Duvall representatives who told us about the label's recent move away from grunge towards a more ladylike aesthetic. 'Grunge' is so over, they explained, telling us that with Fall 08, for each delivery, there will be a dress with matching overcoat. The fall 08 line is very Jackie Kennedy, the kind of heavy 1960's dresses that make you feel like the President's wife, getting drunk on dry martinis and spraying the pool boy with the garden hose. Whether grunge is over is another argument entirely, but Doucette Duvall certainly hit the nail on the head with their glamorous, upscale vibe for fall 08.
Metallics, as they are an intrinsic characteristic of 'holiday' attire, are bound to crop up every season in slightly different hues. This Fall 08, in addition to burnt golds and coppers, we saw quite a few opulence trends on the runway, turning Fall 08 into a 'holiday-happy' season indeed. The Fall 08 Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti collection, for instance, is full of holiday party options. The collection touched on the lace, sequin, and velvet trends of Fall 08 while pulling in the classic metallics we were expecting all along. We quite like this embellished tank because styled a la Proenza Schouler with wool trousers, a leather jacket, and paired down hair and makeup, it would be the perfect 'Fall/Holiday 09' moment. Sequins, this season, are meant to look a little disheveled (a little like you've been digging in the dress-up trunk) and so this blouse would be perfect as the dressed-up ingredient. Net-a-Porter styled it with slim black cigarette pants, which show you the more classic approach to wearing this piece (and it looks quite sharp like that too) but if we were going to wear it, we'd go for contrasts in texture. Below, the Philosophy Fall 08 show so you can break down the pieces and muss them up Fall 08 style.
Our original Coutorture editorial, [Summer] In The City, pivoted on the Fall 08 collection by Karen Walker. We'd been wanting to shoot this particular Fall 08 since we saw the collection at Fashion Week a few months back. Walker has an interesting reputation as she's a designer that has managed to please the magazines and other for-the-masses press, while also remaining a cult favorite in New York. Her designs are always quirky, vibrant, and smart in the way that keeps young trendsetters shopping the collection in spite of the designer's growing popularity. It's not easy to be simultaneously counter-culture and mainstream, though the two can coexist when the qualities required to belong to each camp do not contradict one another.
This Fall 08 was a perfect example of this balance. The quirk came out in hand knitted hats and purses, tie-dyed trousers, and the pairing of striped leggings with turtlenecks and grunge-inspired t-shirts. As for the masses, there were solid frocks and silk floral numbers that were so crowd pleasing it hurt. It came together with a rock n' roll attitude, a pretty mish-mash of influences from the 60's, 70's, and 90's. For the more trendy of Walker's fans, they would have liked how it all came together a little off-kilter and for the more mainstream or conservative fashionistas, they could easily have broken down the looks to find many covetable 'basics'. This is also a success story for the ever-growing argument that contemporary designers lack vision and originality, Walker's collections are her own, even if more than a handful of people can actually afford to wear her clothing.
We're reluctant to admit this but BCBG Max Azria's belted looks for Fall 08 really caught our attention. Sure the aesthetic, overall, is more cutesy than high fashion but the belting (a styling afterthought or planned accessory?) we think appropriate for the variety of volumes and layers we'll encounter come fall. In fact, in the middle of the season one of the worst and most common feelings is that you've been stewing under layers for too long. Mid-winter is the time when you miss your actual silhouette and yet it's located under five layers of clothing. The ol' trench belt routine isn't new to fashion but it sure looks fresh on the runway. We've recently become big fans of buying a size up from what we normally wear simply for the comfort of it and the laid back attitude it seems to convey. With that, it looks like we'll need a belt or two, for those times when we feel like we live in our own personal fashion tent. Check out the BCBG Max Azria Fall 08 collection for belting examples that range from evening frocks to overcoats. There's not a version we don't approve of.