Fall 1999 Trend Report
The countdown to the new millennium begins while this century ends with a flourish of styles borrowed from different periods in history and from various cultures. For Fall '99, the fashion pendulum swings between four distinct looks, each with their own range and point of view:
- Ethereal: Anything light, pale, chalky, dusty, sheer, layered, reflective, fantasy, ethnic
- Outdoors: Inky saturated darks and elegant streamlined shapes
- Folkloric: Bigger, brighter colors - think global influences, Gypsy, and Little House on the Prairie meets Dale Rodgers
- Modern: Long, sleek, and streamlined - think ergonomic and spare. Architectural shapes for bags and shoes
The century may be near its end, but the pioneer spirit thrives on the fashion frontier in the form of new shape, fabrication and color direction.
Shapes are moving away from the body and are less form fitting, but not oversized. The silhouettes of this season are A-Line skirts and dresses, wrap dresses, cardigan-cut jackets, tunics with V-necks, long trouser skirts, relaxed chemise dresses and jumpers, uncreased wide leg pants and boxy cardigan jackets. The overall look is a little more loose and easy. Folkloric interpretations of our favorite shapes look new - think gaucho skirts, crocheted peasant sweaters, dusters and longer jackets over pants-suits with a slight sheen and print mixes.
The fabric alone tells the story of fashion this Fall. Watch for thick felts, satin denims, mercerized and coated cottons, heavy yarns, leather, cashmere or faux fur. Anything that looks handmade or folkloric usually has a fiber story. Wovens, knits and embroideries add texture and color to the global theme.
Surface treatment techniques, a direct result of textile technology, take the initiative to alter the way clothing looks, feels and performs. Lightweight, floating layers in transparent sheers or open knit patterns are coated or lacquered for mother-of-pearl effects, while lycra and nylon satisfy the demand for comfort and stretch.
The hot print of the season features berries - pick a berry - in rich saturated colors - think country weekend and the glow of the hearth. Mixing prints adds a colorful and bohemian touch. Asian-inspired and vintage prints add exotic homespun flair, even if the look isn't too authentic.
Nature's themes reign in the Fall landscape, with distinctive blues from the ocean and greens from lush fields. Colors such as loden, bark and gray evoke vivid images of the forest or the cracked earth of the desert, clearly defining our experiences in the outdoors.
The palest of the pales and the inkiest darks provide the balance of the yin and the yang. There are sharp edges of contrast, such as the saturated colors of an urban style and dusty, chalky pales with an ethereal or techno vision.
The shades of nature and the contrast of the pale and saturated colors co-habitate with the livelier palettes of the folkloric fantasies.
How many ways can you close, clasp, clip, latch, pin or snap? Millennium mania remains high, with a focus on performance and function. Look for these details to cinch the close.
- Drawstrings take on the Toggle cord
- Velcro closures ban the button
- Zippers - hidden or high profile
Accessories built up some momentum last season, and they continue to add punctuation to the story for Fall. There are no mixed messages this season, so choose your baggage carefully. Utilitarian, urban and ergonomic styles have firmly established themselves in the form of body bags, packs and totes. Cute, girlish handbags, as well as designer totes in tooled leather or pony skin, possess a certain charm. Shoes took on a decidedly modern shape recently: squared-off and rounded toes with molded and sculpted soles move forward.
Must-Haves for Fall
Fall is full of the myths and legends of fashion history, but you don't have to be daunted by what seems so couture. Take it slowly, and add and subtract the things that don't translate. It's exciting to look at things with a different eye, not really caring if it's "in style" but whether it's "your style."
- The new uniform - A great sweater and skirt
- Anything faux fur
- Colors from the forest
- Red - Bright or in berry tones for sweaters, shoes and totes
- Gray has an option plan in Platinum, Pewter or Charcoal
- Military Utility - Pockets, camouflage prints, trench coats
- Flat Boots
- A down parka or big fuzzy warm coat
- Dark Denim
Don't Give Up
- Vintage jewelry looks, chokers, bracelets, necklaces worn on the head
- The beaded bag or anything beaded for that matter
- Flat shoes and sexy mules