Fall Fashion Forecast: Luxe Deluxe

Fashion is feeling eclectic these days, showing a curious combination of nostalgia, practicality, and modernism. But those contradictory ideas reflect a common theme?the look of money.

The most notable new ideas for fall and winter were prints that echoed Pucci and tweeds, argyles, and plaids that rang with classic conservatism. The common thread of both the wildly colored prints and the tamely traditional patterns is lean and clean tailoring. The chic, moneyed look is defined by luxurious fabrics and accessories, which is why today?s young and affluent see no contradiction in over-the-top luxury features on sport utility vehicles.

Form and proportion are important for fall and winter, as designers embrace lean, sexy lines that show off the feminine form without flaunting it. Think 1940s war bride meets 1980s confidence and swagger, as shown on the runway by Prada.

This look achieves its chic status thanks to luxury accessories. Slim-belted dresses, jackets, and blouses, one of the strongest looks of the moment, are putting a fresh focus on leather. Hats are back, too, and fur accents and oversized sunglasses stole the shows.

Jewelry turns toward tradition. Fine jewelry continues to make strides as a necessary fashion component, and fall fashion gives it a boost. Echoing apparel trends, fine jewelry has taken a turn toward tradition?the strongest trends are pearl jewelry and yellow gold basics such as chains and hoop earrings. Yellow gold has returned in such force that it?s finding its way into other categories, including link chain shoulder straps on handbags. It also lends its color to Versace?s evening gowns and Marni?s leather pants. And gold riding boots and gold shoes by Marc Jacobs walked down lots of runways.

The sophisticated styles unveiled for fall will usher in a bolder, less dainty era of fine jewelry designs, one that de-emphasizes sweetly feminine styles like briolette-cut gemstones and antique-style carving and cutouts. To meet its clean, confident, frill-free future, jewelry will have to borrow from its past. Large, carat-intensive diamond pieces in simple designs, for example, were an accessory of choice for designers like Michael Kors.

Pearl strands work well with the tweeds, plaids, and generally preppy styles of the fall. Pearl strands, solitaires, studs, and drops don?t have to be grandma?s pearls, however. With color remaining a strong trend, the best way to renew this traditional favorite is with gemstone accents.

The tradition of spring brights and fall mutes is falling by the wayside as pink, lilac, and bright citrus hues step to the forefront as fall colors. Green continues to show promise, and those peridot, emerald, and green tourmaline designs?in yellow gold?launched by fashion-forward Italian designers in January are just in time to fit the bill for fall and winter clothes.

Color is carrying through into apparel, but it?s a far cry from the demure pastels of the last several seasons. Instead, the bold confidence of this era is bringing back prints that echo the style of designer Emilio Pucci. Like Pucci?s, this fall?s designs are filled with geometric forms using combinations of bright and pastel colors. The clinging fabrics and plunging necklines on these ?60s- and ?70s-inspired pieces exude confidence, and jewelry will have to be bold to hold its own.

Multiple layers of yellow gold chains exemplify the idea of ?the more, the merrier? and achieve the proper level of glam. Other sexy looks, like lariats and long pendants, also complement deep necklines. Chokers are still a hot category and look best when updated with fringe or other accessories.

Hoops are the hottest style of earring right now, in both the ?70s glam look and the more traditional preppy looks. For professional women, the trend means hoops in yellow gold that work for office and casual wear. The glamour-minded will find fulfillment in diamond-encrusted hoops, the season?s runway favorites.

Designers delivered this fall what they began to hint at last year?the return of the suit. With shorter skirts and jackets, stronger shoulder pads, or other updated adjustments, classicists like Giorgio Armani are bringing the suit back to the office after a decade of casual everydays. While echoing the sentiment of the ?80s power suit for women, today?s suit?like today?s feminist?is softer and more comfortable with femininity.