alice & olivia wool blazer, $400
and black satin skinny pants, $264
city school kids & upper east side charms
The runways (and soon the streets of Manhattan) resemble a prep school fire drill. Tailored blazers, riding boots, horizontal stripes, and (gasp!) pearls are helping bring classic conservative back in style from New York to London. Edgy dressers fear not... for once, preppy is not synonymous with candy-colored prints that resemble a Nantucket flotation device. This is not your grandma Betty's conservative, and designers don't expect you to wear frumpy shoulder pads or boxy suits. The new look is a freshly modern take on tradition -- sort of Audrey Hepburn meets Balenciaga -- featuring soft, tailored elegance with a touch of attitude (not too unlike the modern woman).
nanette lepore black merino wool dress, $230
black and tan...
geren ford black cap-sleeve top, $267
marquis & camus collar with cameo, $200
highland clans & a coat of arms
While Paris and New York appeared to be inundated with black, London and Milan gave a nod to the Queen with inordinate amounts of tartan, plaid, and check complimented by faux coat-of-arms and jewels becoming of Elizabeth herself... Vivienne Westwood showcased anglomania with red houndstooth minis, floral silks, and brass-buttoned coats... Alexander McQueen embodied the trend with outrageously regal gowns that harkened back to the days of Anne Boleyn, accented with elaborate headpieces and fine borrowed vintage jewels... and Italian designers Domineco Dolce & Stefano Gabbana's fall D&G collection showcased an array of traditional Scottish tartans layered with checks, plaids, and argyle vests...
The result? An endless selection of cross-Atlantic preppy wear that oozes sophistication of days past...
british power prints...
vivienne westwood red label fall rtw 2008
ode to the queen...
alexander mcqueen fall rtw 2008
plaid to toe...
d&g dolce & gabbana fall rtw 2008
a daring pair...
d&g dolce & gabbana navy plaid coat, $1690
rebecca taylor black pants, $275
Experiencing sensory overload? No problem. I'll help. Take a cue from Kate Moss and pair a basic black blazer with slick skinny jeans, tall boots, and great accessories like an eye-popping clutch or an oh-so-popular charm bracelet from your favorite fashion house... Combine a slinky shift with black tights and a pair of sweet ankle boots for a night on the town... dress up a pair of leggings (left over from that awful moo-moo tunic trend) with riding boots, a pretty feminine blouse, and an oversized leather bag...
geometric pillow, shades of light
eliza mcallister silhouette plate, $65 jayson home & garden
pearl and rhinestone studs, topshop
jasper conran teacup, wedgewood
long fabienne high-heel boots, $398 jcrew
calvin klein horizontal stripe dress
hermes printed silk scarf
crest cuff, $74 shoptwigs
gucci lace-up ankle boots
superfine skinny jeans, $260 net-a-porter
chanel charm bracelet, bag borrow or steal
marc by marc jacobs fan bracelet, $98 nordstrom
kate moss for topshop boyfriend blazer, £55.00 topshop
betsey johnson drop earrings, betsey johnson
alexander mcqueen union jack clutch, net-a-porter
ralph lauren alligator clutch
stripe military blazer, £30 topshop
d&g dolce & gabbana wonder corduroy jeans, net-a-porter
ralph lauren home "mayfair stripe" fabric
world food programme feed bag, $60 amazon.com
louis vuitton monogram vernis alma, $2080 eluxury
sherburne sofa, $6540 ralph lauren home
hunter wellington boots, jcrew
mcq skinny leg jeans, net-a-porter
vivienne westwood black petite jacket
lela rose ruffle neck blouse
ralph lauren home tweed fabric
silk rose brooch, topshop
carolina amato leather gloves, eluxury
frye "paige" tall riding boots, $348 nordstrom
burberry "brit gold" perfume
Last but not least, industrious artsy types who'd "die" for a Balenciaga crested blazer but can barely afford bread can create their own perfect (and personalized) look by adding one of these fabulous bullion crest appliques to their favorite clothing item... now that's just fabulous!
bullion crests, $9-25
PHEW! I'm exhausted...