Fall is here, and as the temperatures start to cool, the fashions are still heating up. For the past few seasons, designers have been using the concept of romance as a predominant theme throughout their collections. Every facet of the feeling has been tapped â€” from tenderness to lust â€” and always, Aphrodite is the underlying muse. To fan these flames of desire, collections unfold on the runway in swaths of velvet, ruffles and lace. And as fashion week season draws to a close, it seems fitting the final installment takes place within the stylistic Tour de Force of Paris, fashion capital and the best place on earth, to fall in love.
One of the fabrics being revitalized most these days is the enchanting quality of lace. As commonly affiliated with romance as flowers and chocolate, lace is one of the few fabrics that can be pulled off as either naughty or nice. Though it can be found on the dainty gloves that a gentleman will kiss, or threaded through the bodice of a white wedding gown, a more modern take on lace has been shown in black, barely there styles. Dolce & Gabbana provide a fierce peek a boo look that would make any man’s heart melt. But for a more realistic, less exhibitionistic, take on the trend, try the modern yet feminine stylings of DVF instead.
There’s nothing more girly or flirty than the allure of ruffles. With cascades of fabric flowing around the body and playing up the face, collarbone, and arms, there’s arguably no other accent that can so definitely say woman. But a sweetly innocent style can mask the seductress underneath, so color, fit and proportion are essential to preventing a Little Bo Peep. Erdem nails the trend with a bold statement in a shot of seasonally versatile cobalt. Miles away from the girliness of pastels, the jewel tone style provides a more grown up and sophisticated version of the look. Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent plays up that same playful sass with a plunging v neck and adorably ruffled cuff
When one is ready to approach love with reckless abandon, then one is ready for velvet. With such a lush and passionate tangibility, velvet can be perfect when sanctioned in small doses (with too much, it reads Victorian age vampire). Draping it over the skin inspires a certain level of luxurious desire, which stand out that much more when paired with a mix of other fabrics. For an exquisitely cut piece, look no further than the queen of romance herself, Vera Wang. Wang’s lush black velvet jacket holds enough embellishment â€” with its ruffled collar and slouchy bow â€” to appear glamorous and whimsical without being too costumey. Nanette Lepore‘s version channels that same type of darkly gothic, but still fanciful flare.
If overt sexiness isn’t your thing, then being demurely coy can have just as much impact in getting what you truly want. A more daring piece like a corset or bustier, can be reminiscent of a pin up’s underpinnings, but is easily sweetened up with a creamy hue and floral embellishments. Tuleh trotted out a white and baby blue confection that could be anchored for fall when paired with a tailored blazer. And Blumarine‘s dreamy take boasts a sweetheart neckline and corset boning, pairing elegance with a quiet sensuality.
Gone are the days of a woman sitting around waiting for her Prince Charming to drop by. These days, we go out and get what we want in the way that we see most fit. And whether its through coy flirtation or sensual dominance, these pieces definitely help pave the way to that happily ever after we all deserve.
1. Runway: Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2010Â
2. Real Way: Diane Von Furstenberg Belia Wool Lace Dress $385
3. Runway: Erdem Fall 2009Â
4. Real Way: Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Crossover Ruffle Dress $350
5. Runway: Vera Wang Fall 2009Â
6. Real Way: Nanette Lepore Black ‘National Velvet’ Snap Front Jacket $185
7. Runway: Tuleh Spring 2010Â
8. Real Way: Blumarine Bustier $345
All Runway Images: NewYorkmag.com