August 1 2014

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Are You Charmed By Snakeskin?


It was a clash of the creatures for Spring 2011. In one corner: last season’s reigning champion, leopard. In the other, python. Thakoon Panichgul, for his part, decided snakeskin, both real and as a print on sequins, had the bigger bite. Joseph Altuzarra also saw python as the clear victor. “It feels very exotic and sensual, and has a timeless appeal,” he told “Whether you wear a full python jacket with a simple pant, or patchwork it with other materials, it’s feminine and sexy.” Sexy, and how. Roberto Cavalli‘s fringed rock goddess gowns were plenty sultry. But those in the market for something a bit more tame can still take a nibble. Michael Kors worked the skin into a putty-colored pencil skirt, and Barbara Bui used it as an accent on a trench.

Click here for a slideshow, and let us know if snakeskin is in for spring.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos /

Will You Say “Yes, Please” To Pleats?


Knife, accordion, box, plissé—however they executed them, designers sent pleats aplenty down the Spring runways. We’re not talking about the stiff folds of your starched schoolgirl uniform here. Haider Ackermann and Chloé‘s Hannah MacGibbon showed fluid, body-skimming incarnations that swished with each step. Richard Nicoll achieved a similar effect with sun-ray pleats that fanned out from the waist. “I used pleats to create architectural necklines and flattering volume,” he told “They add a mathematical, modern-looking edge to longer lengths and ethereal fabrics.” Others gave classic creases an update by using Day-Glo brights. Miuccia Prada’s sweet shirtwaist dress at Miu Miu, for example, came in an acid green. And at Rue du Mail, Martine Sitbon created a unique patterned effect by layering micro-pleated aqua tulle over a graphic shift.

Click here for a slideshow, and let us know if you’re into the folds.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos /

The Exposed Midriff: Innie Or Outie?


It was probably inevitable: After realizing they couldn’t make shorts any shorter, designers have flipped the switch and dropped hemlines, making a sliver of stomach the new erogenous zone. The Spring collections found everyone from the Mulleavy sisters at Rodarte to Donatella Versace at Versace showing suggestive slices of toned (but of course) midriffs. While bandeau and lingerie-inspired looks have abounded the past several seasons, this time around, designers were careful to expose just the right proportion of skin. (We’re not talking Britney Spears redux here.) For Vena Cava‘s Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock, the key is keeping the belly button under wraps. The design duo told, “Showing the lower portion of your midriff is tacky, but the upper portion feels very chic, like something Bette Davis would’ve done with high-waisted shorts and a printed bandeau.” For those skittish about exposing so much skin, they suggest layering the tops over bodysuits and leotards. As for the rest of us, let the crunches commence.

Click here for a slideshow, and let us know if your torso is ready for prime time.

Who Are You Tricking Yourself Out As?


Anything goes when it comes to dressing up on Halloween. That’s why it’s the fashion flock’s favorite holiday—well, that, and the once-a-year guilt-free opportunity to eat as much candy as possible. If we’ve seen a few too many Karl Lagerfelds and Donatella Versaces on the costume party circuit in recent years, the Spring runways and front rows were rife with alternative possibilities. Anybody dare to imitate the self-proclaimed Lady Gaga of fashion, Anna Dello Russo? Or a certain mutton-chopped, plaid shirt-favoring photographer? Or perhaps Louis Vuitton zebra paint is more your thing?

Click here for a slideshow of suggestions and helpful hints, and let us know what you’ll be wearing.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Why Wouldn’t You Wear White After Labor Day?


Once, only the brave wore white after the first weekend in September (and by brave we mean French and/or those in possession of a generous dry-cleaning budget). But that old edict hasn’t really applied for a while, and judging by Fall collections from the likes of Thakoon Panichgul and Gucci‘s Frida Giannini, a pair of white pants is now a winter wardrobe essential. According to Jill Stuart, though, the shade’s prominence has less to do with breaking rules than harmonizing palettes. “Loden green and camel are big this season, and white freshens those darker shades up,” she pointed out to us. “A creamy color makes everything brighter.” That was certainly the case at Reed Krakoff, where full, ivory trousers were paired with a swaggering navy coat and charcoal sweater. And, of course, white jeans, like the cropped ones we’re coveting from Isabel Marant, can freshen up any outfit. Just remember to factor your cleaning bills into the purchase price.

Click here for a slideshow, and let us know if white’s all right for fall.

Photo: Marcio Madeira /