Designers Preview Fall Lines

By Esperanza Juarez

Designers, models and fashion lovers alike took New York City by
storm as they gathered for Fashion Week 2007 where some of the
world’s most noted designers showcased their latest designs for the
upcoming fall season.

Just as with music, entertainment or art, the fashion industry
is fueled by people who are deeply passionate.

“Dressing each day is the single intensely personal artistic
activity that everybody engages in on a daily basis,” said Jean
Gipe, professor of apparel merchandising and management, and
interim associate dean for the College of Agriculture.

Now that the shows have ended, the parties are over, the velvet
ropes have come down and the dust has settled, we can take a close
look at the trends that ruled the New York City runways.

The Heart Truth’s fifth annual “Red Dress Collection” was the
official kickoff event for the weeklong festivities. Kelly Ripa,
Katharine McPhee and designer Betsey Johnson were just a few of the
featured models to wear new fashions by Diane von Furstenburg and
Daniel Swarovski, to name a few. First Lady, Laura Bush was seated
front and center for the annual event that raises awareness for
women’s heart disease by showcasing a multitude of “the red dress,”
which is the national symbol for women and heart disease.

While the “Red Dress Collection” focused on designs for women,
the remainder of the week’s shows offered up a little something for
everyone and provided some insight about the trends that will be
seen next fall.

The most obvious trend was the lean towards more tailored and
streamline looks for both men and women.

“Our fashion industry today [practices] ‘market segmentation,’
they really try to look at who the buying population is, what
interests them, what they like and what they do,” said Gipe. “There
will be a certain element of the industry that [the professional
look] will appeal to, particularly a slightly older working crew.
It’s not too body revealing, not too skin tight but not too

Trouser pants of all lengths and widths are back, but this time
with a twist. For women, waistbands are reaching new heights as
designer pieces veered away from the ultra low waist pants of
recent seasons. Fashion critics have since expressed concern that
non-waif-like figured individuals won’t be able to pull off the
look without appearing as if they’re wearing a pair of “mom

For both men and women plaid designs were a common trend at
Fashion Week. From men’s jackets to skirts with checkered pattern,
which made a huge impact during the grunge era of the early 90s
returned, but this time around it’s anything but grungy with
designers opting to use various fabrics other than flannel to
design pieces that are neat and crisp looking.

For the most part, designers kept their sweaters very simplistic
except when it came to collars and some sleeves. Large, sweeping
collars were a popular trend.

Color was another common thread among designers. Various shades
of gray, blue and brown were among the most favored colors featured
on the catwalks. While some designers opted to use deep burgundy
and plum, black remained a designer favorite.

In addition to clothing trends other fads were evident at
Fashion Week.

In regards to women and color the prominent use of gray and blue
eye shadow was a popular way for designers and makeup artists to
create a dramatic look. High set ponytails and bangs were also

One of the major accessories for fall is the hat. From abstract
to practical several designers used hats to top off their

Shoes are also getting a makeover. Say so long to big, clunky
wedges and hello to sleek and pointed or slightly rounded toe boots
and heels. Using buttons and zippers as decorative items rather
than for function was also quite common.

While not all runway designs directly translate over to the mass
market, designers whose work does make it to chain retail
department stores are definitely influenced by what goes on at
fashion week.

As the week-long event concluded the fashion world turned it’s
head to see what the upcoming European shows have in store for the
fashion scene.

“What we choose to wear is our walking billboard of who we are,
and where we’ve come from and what’s important to us and we use
what’s on our billboard to relate to other people,” said Gipe.

Esperanza Juarez can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at (909) 869-3744.

Designers Preview Fall Lines

Designers Preview Fall Lines

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