Fall 2011 Women's Fashion Preview

Heather O'Brien surveys the main trends due to hit Prague stores this autumn and winter

Fall/Winter 2011 trends are a bit of a hodgepodge. Some went with ladylike chic, others went with a mismatched six-year-old. I suppose this fall/winter the choice is really up to you.

Key pieces that don't necessarily deserve their own heading: Lace continues to be a key piece, especially in dresses and long-sleeve blouses; bows, the bigger the better, and fur, fur, fur! I know that won't make our friends at PETA happy, but I assume that many of the designers judged that if you are going to buy a fur -- and wear it forever -- now would be the time to do so. What recession?

The Statement Jacket

From left to right: Alexander McQueen (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); The Row (The Row); Alberta Ferretti (Marcus Tondo/GoRunway.com); Thakoon (Alessandro Garofolo/GoRunway.com); Prada (Monica Feudi/Feudi e Guaineri)

Yes, nature did not make hot pink minks or an electric blue fox fur, but it seems that designers have forgotten that we are in the midst of austerity packages and financial meltdowns. No matter -- if the rugs are swept out from under you, you will now have that statement jacket that will at least keep you warm and looking stylish. Can't afford fur? Parkas will be your next best bet -- lumberjack-style (the red and blue checks remind me more of the great Canadian outdoors than the streets of Prague), leather mixed with pea coat-inspired closures, and plenty of jackets with at least a little bit of fur!

Sixties Sass

From left to right: Trussardi 1911; Carolina Herrera; The Row; Rebecca Taylor (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Temperley London (Marcus Tondo/GoRunway.com)

The sweet '60s: not your mother's Haight-Ashbury wardrobe but the wardrobe of American royalty -- Jackie O. A-line cuts and sophisticated tailoring, reminiscent of an era when construction mattered. Polka dots, the type of print worn by dancers of the same name, played heavily on the runways of Paris, Milan, London and New York. Small belts, usually black, are seen worn around the waist to give a feminine shape. T-strap sandals with classic colored tights/stockings were seen on the runways.

Mix and Match

From left to right: Bottega Venetta (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Miu Miu (Monica Feudi/Feudi e Guaineri); Proenza Schouler (Monica Feudi/Feudi e Guaineri); Alberta Ferretti (Marcus Tondo/GoRunway.com); Valentino (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com)

Remember when your mother told you to always match? Well, throw it out the window and pretend like you are five years old all over again. This fall we saw very little matching. Floral with plaids, satins with fur, silks with wool. Playing with different fabric elements and really testing the boundaries of what we find acceptable as women was certainly highlighted. If you are like me and can't see yourself wearing something that clashes, try to mix black and white together or try mixing fabrics to keep yourself on the more traditional side but still "Trend Right".

No Lights Out

From left to right: Alberta Ferretti (Marcus Tondo/GoRunway.com); Victoria Beckham (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Rochas (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Rebecca Taylor (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Proenza Schouler (Monica Feudi/Feudi e Guaineri)

Bold colors worn top to bottom or blocked continue to be a hot-ticket holdover from Summer 2011. Black-and-white blocks seemed to be the choice for many that wanted something a little more demure. But if you aren't afraid of color try the burnt sienna or orange family; perhaps lavender, violet or eggplant would also be suitable. For those wanting to be trend right but not look like a traffic light, try blocking a more "conservative" color like deep teal, forest green, coffee liquor, or quarry.

Act Like a Woman; Dress Like a Man

From left to right: Alberta Ferretti (Marcus Tondo/GoRunway.com); Rebecca Taylor (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Rochas (Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com); Rachel Roy (Yannis Valmos/GoRunway.com); Peter Som (Marcus Tondo/GoRunway.com)

Structured pieces return for Fall/Winter 2011, receiving a warm welcome from the flowing maxi dresses of Summer. Double-breasted suits, typical of the bespoke tailors of Saville Row, have found a new place in our wardrobes. Yes, men have their power suits but we women can finally have ours as well. Look for classic cuts and tailoring to make sure that your suit will last longer than your current Treasury bonds.

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