When I ask my Japanese friends, “What is your favourite season?” I usually get two responses- spring, because of the encompassing beauty of the cherry blossoms, and rightfully so- it truly is spectacularly gorgeous; and fall, of course, for its fashion. From Kyushu to Hokkaido, even the occasional chill of the Okinawan night, there’s no denying that Japan’s most fashionable season is upon us.
Every February and March, the major fashion capitals of the world provide an anticipated forecast into the end of year fall fashion trends and I am here to happily dissect some of the chicest styles to ensure that you enjoy la dolce vita.
1. Super Size Me
Take a peek into my closet and you may be alarmed by the sheer number of scarves I own. It’s one of those rare fashion items that lends itself to immediately transforming any outfit from dismally tragic to Milano-chic. Whether printed, textured or monochromatic, scarves are having a polished renaissance, with its oversized counterpart being its crème de la crème.
Oversized scarves can appear intimidating because of its voluminous nature, however, when it is wrapped around the shoulders as a shawl it can give women a Boho-chic look a la the trendy Olsen twins. As the day eases into night, your scarf can be flung around the neck, twisted and tied, leaving you fashionably comfortable and effortlessly stunning. Men can achieve a similar result with the ever popular Aztec printed scarves. For a more haute couture ensemble, men can use textured monotone blanket-esk scarves tied twice-around Ascot style for a superbly sophisticated outfit.
If I haven’t convinced you as yet, the oversized scarf is the perfect accessory for that romantic date in Kyoto’s Pontocho. As the winter breeze hits, it easily unwraps to embrace two.
2.The New Black
Burgundy is the new black. It is the ideal autumn shade. Look no further than Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hollywood’s current “It” boy to see this trend done to perfection. Worn with a crisp white shirt paired with a skinny black silk tie, the burgundy suit is for the man that dares to be different. For a tamer yet equally sensational do, my recommendation is to invest in a well tailored pair of pants, throw on a simple white t-shirt and slim fit blazer in a Herringbone finish and you’re destined to be classy and cool as you hit the streets of Tokyo.
To push the boundaries and make people sit up and take notice, go unashamedly gaudy by mixing vibrant colours and patterns. My recommendation for the ladies is a gutsy one- combine an orange cable knit sweater with a rich wine coloured tuxedo pants and get ready to be one of Japan’s fashion elites. If orange is too much of a risk, try grey, slip on your stilettos and edgy, modern (gold) necklace and get ready to mingle.
3. Coloured Socks
Guys, do you want a leg up on the fashion competition? Try wearing cropped pants and punctuating it with a bold pair of patterned socks. In the last couple of years, socks have had a resurgence in the fashion industry and deservingly so. Socks-argyle, polka dot, stripped or outlandishly designed- are a subtle way to inject character and fun into sometimes very formal, fussy clothes. Don’t believe me? Octogenarian, George H.W. Bush, American’s former president, was able to seamlessly add colour, humour and style to his very stiff grey suit with a single pair of socks. Sorry ladies but I am of the opinion that women should stay well clear of coloured socks unless you are intentionally going after a geek-chic or Lolita look and it is purposefully done.
If there is one fashion trend emanating from New York’s 2013 Fall/ Winter Fashion Week that all women should take note of, it is the reinterpretation of the film noir genre. Classically feminine and deceptively stylised often using the finest haberdashery fabrics, this trend pays tribute to the 1940s Hollywood glamour. To re-imagine this iconic look, I recommend getting a signature trench coat made of cashmere or an affordable wool, with exaggerated shoulders pairing it with a Veronica Lake hairdo and a matted lip. My colour choice for a 2013 film noir inspiration is red. Do it and I am certain that everyone will be whispering that she’s dressed to kill.
For men, think of the classic streamlines of the quintessential Burberry trench coat for insight. The general rule of thumb is to select one size up when choosing a coat to ensure your movements are smooth and stealthy. Although I pride myself in colour, I vehemently believe that this piece deserves to be traditionally classic and flawlessly handsome.
There we have it. Four trends that is unequivocally certain to make you an effortlessly chic trendsetter for fall/ winter 2013. Remember fashion is fun, fashion is art, but most of all, fashion is confidence. Happy shopping and enjoy the unparalleled beauty of fall!
Jenson recommends: Regardless of where you are or what you wear, remember it’s always in vogue to love yourself unashamedly. =)
Note: I’d been contacted by the current Fashion and Beauty editor of the AJET Connect Magazine to contribute a piece on fall fashion. Hope you enjoyed the read.