dscoop Designers

The NM List: Fall Must Haves

"This... 'stuff'? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select... I don't know... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent... wasn't it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff." --- Ken Downing, Fashion Oracle, Neiman-Marcus. Oops, I meant Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada

Well, okay, maybe the esteemed Mr. Downing didn't exactly say those words. What Downing did say was, "Season after season, fashion journalists declare 'trends' an obsolete idea, going as far as denying their existence. But I, for one, disagree." Yeah, me too, Ken. You think you're wearing those sleek red athletic shoes because they're comfortable? No. You are wearing them because they are a trend that has insidiously infected you. But you may not see it that way. Call it zeitgeist, collective consciousness or even design plagiarism, and whether the trend has filtered up from the street, or down from the couture houses, they are trends nonetheless. That's not to say that trends are a bad thing, but being called trendy does have a negative connotation. Continues Mr. Downing, "Through my lens, I see collective signals of creativity and change. No trends? Nonsense.

" A Neiman's, the Temple of Fashion from which oracle Downing presides, the trends for Women F/W 2015-16 are varied and diverse - some new, some reinvented.

Folklorica, described as, "A global array of embroidery, patchwork, lace and fringe," such as Erdem's spellbinding red (yuup, red is a trend) guipure lace dress; Chloé's exuberant multicolored patchwork snakeskin bag; and Haute Hippie's soft-spoken winter white (another big, big trend) sweater with a yoke of coordinated fringe.

The Last Layer encompasses dusters, ponchos and capes, such as The Neiman Marcus Cashmere Collection's generous red and black poncho in a plaid so large, you cannot see its repeat; The Row's luxurious winter white floor-length duster is truly royal; and Etro's romantically soft and fringed kimono-like topper in an exotic black and earth toned print begs to be thrown on.

Full-Bodied Reds encaptures crimson, carmine

and claret, from the top of the head to the tip of the shoe, such as Rag &Bone's saucey deep red fedora; Tamara Mellon's alluring sheer print blouse in a multi-reds; Gucci's cunning blood red tasseled bucket bag; and Manolo Blahnik's lusty red stiletto pumps.

White Out addresses a timeless, wintery mix of non-colored shades, such as Brunello Cucinelli's enticing eggshell-shaded fur (another trend) vest; A.L.C.'s extraordinary asymmetrically laced day dress in whipped cream tone; Alexis's mouthwatering sheer and short, ruffled lace dress; and Moncler's winter white wedge-styled buckled boot cuffed in shearling.

Modern Fur, real or faux, is everywhere, as seen in Stella MacCartney's sumptuous Mongolian lamb coat (more of a fur vest with sleeves); the irresistible Fendi bootie in brown and white animal hide with an anklet cuff of white-tipped brown fox; and Nancy Gonzalez's to-die-for snowdrift shaded croc-embossed bag, sheathed in sheared lambswool.

The Return of the Flare speaks for itself with a leg-flattering kick, embodied by Haute Hippie's divine palazzo-like pants in mocha with an avian print; A.L.C.'s sexy fitted and flared pants in black with a small burgundy print; and Moncler's sharply creased black wool-blend gaucho pants.

The Saddle Bag,whether it be single-shouldered or crossbody, is a must-have. Rebecca Minkoff's claret-colored woven leather shoulder bag is a perfect example; as is Tom Ford's delicious espresso colored suede bag with zipper detailing; and Valentino Garavani's chic and simple black stingray bag with a wide, pyramid-studded strap.

Chunky Heels in which to walk all day and dance all night include Stuart Weitzman's oh-so-coveted thigh-high boots with a stacked heel in black suede; Tory Burch's exotic leopard open-toed strappy sandal with a cube heel; and Aquazzura's inventive natural-colored platformed open-toed and open-heeled bootie in satin-finished leather with a tall column of a heel.

Ear Candy, "Changing it up with huggies, jackets, crawlers and cuffs." For instance, IRO's comfy merlot boucle button-front jacket,flipped up around the neck; The Neiman-Marcus Cashmere Collection's substantial deep brown cardigan with an enormously wide Mongolian lamb shawl collar that burrows the neck and ears in softness; and Oscar de la Renta's flirtatious dangling gold chain earrings.

The Well-Dressed Leg features "luxury sheers, fishnets and lace," such as Wolford's stylish black-on-black sheer-and-striped tights; Commando's daring leopard-print net tights; and Alice + Olivia's dramatic silk-effect, cashmere blend tights with a repeated lacy Art Deco pattern.

Yeah. They're trends. Get them while they're hot.

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Photography by: All images via Neiman Marcus