They call it Fashion Week, but in reality it’s a month long caravan that spans four international cities: New York, London, Milan and Paris. If style is your passion, Fashion Week can easily hijack your focus and raise your heart rate, but this year you may be finding this season a little confusing. The industry is in upheaval. Business is difficult. Online shopping threatens the mall. But fashion’s potentially game-changing new challenge is “Buy-Now-Wear-Now” –runway clothes designed for the current season that you can purchase for immediate wear. Sounds logical, no?
Except, up until now, that isn’t how ready-to-wear worked. For decades, the formula was that designers presented their clothes six months in advance exclusively to store buyers and magazine editors. Buyers bought, editors edited, and the season’s choices arrived in stores half a year later, coordinated with their debut in glossy print.
Social media has shredded the blueprint. Today, runways are livestreamed, favorite looks instantly make the rounds on Instagram, Twitter and Snap Chat, popular bloggers waste no time declaiming their mad crushes and big hates and fast
fashion produces copies that swiftly land on their racks often within weeks. By the time said ready-to-wear collections go on sale, more and more shoppers are looking and reacting “been there, seen that.”
So this fall, such influential designers as Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and Tom Ford offered Buy-Now-Wear-Now collections – fall clothes that went on sale, online and in-store, hours after they appeared on the runway. So what did we see that says gotta-have-it-right-this-minute?
Pictures: 2, 3, and 4
The best news is the welcome and happily unapologetic swing back towards romance. It’s not merely the reappearance of ruffles and bows, full skirts and wide leg pants, but the overall spirit is that style has put its faith back in having flair, once again eager to choose excitement over efficiency.
With dress codes relaxing in the workplace, women can indulge in greater options. Fall clothes boast volume and offer movement. There is gypsy in its soul, high western strutting in its step, and patterns, make that patterns upon patterns, proclaiming, more strongly than any time in recent memory, that you should present yourself with as much individuality as your confidence will allow.
How does Fashion Week translate to wearing fine jewelry?
Take all that jewelry that you’ve saved for special occasions and decide that Tuesday can be one helluva day if you believe it so. Earrings are shown with everything, you can’t have enough, but why not choose a pair of drops that exquisitely balance the sparkle of diamonds against the mysterious glow of moonstone (Picture 4). Statement necklaces may be too much atop clothes so strong, but a pendant that boasts singular handwork hanging from delicately interwoven chains will create striking impact (Picture 5). Why slip on one simple bangle, when four individually fascinating ones worn together is so much more fun (Picture 3). And rings whose designs break from the usual bands caressing your fingers in ways that are organic and original, pointing the way to mesmerizing effects. (Pictures 1 & 2).
The key is to make sure your jewelry moves with you because that will add to power to that first – and second – impression. Ask yourself this, “What will help me make an entrance?” Doesn’t matter if you are walking into a symphony hall or a supermarket. After all, if social media has taught us anything, it’s that someone is always watching. So perhaps we should add a phrase to fashion’s new mantra. How about “Buy-Now-Wear-Now-And-Be-Remembered-Tomorrow?”
From left to right: Dennis Basso, Oscar De La Renta, Ralph Lauren
Hal Rubenstein, Gabriel’s global style director, was one of the founding editors of InStyle Magazine where served as Fashion Director for 15 years. Prior to that, Rubenstein was the Men’s Style Director of the New York Times, and was a contributing editor to Vogue, Elle, The New Yorker, New York, Interview, Ocean Drive and Details. Rubenstein is co-director of The Fund in the Sun Foundation, on the boards of The Paul Taylor Dance Company and Live Out Loud. In addition to creating and editing the cult classic Egg Magazine, Rubenstein is also a noted food critic and consultant, appears regularly on HSN with his eponymous clothing line and is the author of four books, his latest being The Looks of Love:50 Moments in Fashion that Inspired Romance (HarperCollins, 2015).