Avril Graham, Harper’s BAZAAR Executive Fashion & Beauty Editor was at Saks Fifth Avenue Chicago on Tuesday evening. Avril was in town to officially relaunch Saks Chicago’s WEAR NOW floor. As soon as she spoke I recognized her from the Today Show. Attendees enjoyed refreshments and a fashion presentation of looks from the WEAR NOW floor, which includes collections from RED Valentino, Burberry Brit, Calvin Klein, Elie Tahari, Lafayette 148 New York and more. If you live in Chicago and have not seen the WEAR NOW floor on level 4 you really must check it out! There are some fantastic selections and it offers a boutique-in-boutique experience.
Avril Graham presented her favorite trends and must-haves for fall and answered questions from the audience. She put together bold and interesting looks that women of Chicago were thrilled to see and excited to wear. Guests I met told me they were left with the thought of mixing it up and dressing up a bit more!
She showed a simple transition for a traveling woman. A woman can go from a professional (and fashionable) look for day with bright accessories like this orange Stella McCartney Braided Crossbody Bag and simply change to a fur topper for evening.
Avril added these Nicholas Kirkwood fringe sandals to make this look more rock and roll, yet pretty and easy to wear with a RED Valentino Taffeta blouse and leather leggings. The audience asked what one piece does she think is “a must” for every wardrobe. Avril answered that “as boring as it may sound” a great fitting black sheath dress, to the knee, is one piece you need because you can build on that”. When asked what trends women of a certain age should avoid, and said “You can wear every trend – just in a different way.” Everything must fit to be appropriate for your age – not too tight, too short or too plunging.
We were able to meet Avril ask her even more questions after the presentation. She was extremely warm and open to anything!
SCS: You answered the question on one key piece, with the black sheath dress, but if a woman were to add only 3 new pieces to her wardrobe for fall, what would the other 2 pieces be?
Avril Graham: A black tailored jacket and a crisp white shirt. And from there you can layer other pieces and accessories.
SCS: How do you think the runway dictates what we wear?
Avril Graham: It trickles down quicker lately. What we see on the runway stimulates the economy.
SCS: What do thou think about fast fashion like H&M and Zara?
Avril Graham: I love what they are doing! The only thing I don’t like to see is an exact copy from a designer, and they don’t do that. They often take a feeling of a runway look, such as leather, which is big so they may do a panel of leather on a piece to pick up the look.
SCS: What is your favorite part of your job as Harper’s BAZAAR Executive Fashion & Beauty Editor?
Avril Graham: Meeting our readers, and I like working with gorgeous things, but I really like meeting and getting feedback from our readers.
SCS: What did the Chicago readers tell you today?
Avril Graham: Today women in Chicago loved the spirit of New York. In New York I could wear this jacket to get the paper, or a woman can swear a fur to go to the drugstore or walk the dog. It is that attitude of getting more dressed up that the women today told me they liked. (she was wearing a Giambattista Valli jacket that we all loved!)
SCS: What trends do you like for spring 2013?
Avril Graham: I like summer leather, and tuxedo dressing, I saw a lot of that at Lanvin and Jil Sander. Also in New York you probably noticed all of the chiffon overlays … lots of chiffon overlays.
SCS: What is the best advice that anyone ever gave you?
Avril Graham: It was a French designer who said the most important thing. He said you can have an expensive dress and if you wear the right inexpensive accessories, you will look really good, but you can wear an expensive dress with the wrong inexpensive accessories and look really bad!
We totally enjoyed meeting Avril Graham and we gladly will take any fashion advice from her in the future!
– Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City Style
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