Five must-have fashion accessories for fall, from scarves to blankets | Accessories
The 1990s revival is a funny thing. I really don’t remember feeling like we were living in a golden age of fashion back then, and yet this decade has dominated streetwear for the past five years: crop tops, overalls, beanies, sunglasses with mirror effect, skorts. Even darlings. And now, that memorable symbol of 90s nightclub glamour, the choker. The choker has always represented and always will represent sex and infamy – from Manet’s 1863 nude painting of Olympia with its delicate black ribbon choker, to Paris and Nicky Hilton in their VIP bedroom pump at the turn of the 21st century – so the look was still going to work for Rihanna, Rita Ora and Miley Cyrus, all early adopters of the look this time around.
For summer 2014, Karl Lagerfeld crossed the Chanel pearl necklace with the helmet-around-the-neck look favored by modern footballers everywhere to create a much-photographed choker featuring two giant pearls; on the fall runways, Balenciaga presented a crystal choker and Balmain a gold-plated multi-row number that has already sold out on Net-A-Porter. (FYI: It was £1,815 anyway, in case you’re gutted for missing it.) On the high street, Asos has sold 30,000 this summer while Claire’s reports sales up 900 % compared to last year. Otherwise, wait another few weeks, and you can achieve the same bra-accentuating silhouette with a polo neck instead.
Choupette’s position as queen of the fashion animal kingdom is under threat. This summer, Digby the dog graced the cover of British Vogue in the arms of Victoria Beckham. (Digby’s owner is Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers, who styled the shoot. Friends in high places and all that.) The latest issue of US Harper’s features Lady Gaga in a pink tweed Chanel suit, holding her dog, Asia. And model-turned-stylist Kate Moss – who never strays from the zeitgeist – has hired a pack of wolf-like British lupins to star alongside model Lara Stone in the latest shoot she did for vogue. Plus, we have hard evidence to back up the theory that dogs are the new cats: the winning entry for Topshop’s Make Your Pet a Star contest, in which photos of pets compete to be digitally printed on socks – I’m not making this up – is Luci the dog. Good advice: it is at Bella Freud (whose logo represents a sketch of the whippet Pluto drawn by the creator’s late artist father, Lucian) that the hot dogs are found.
For single-earring power, look no further than Emma Watson, who made masterful use of the trend as part of her post-Hermione, still-pretty-but-now-kinda-cool, rebrand. The single earring is decorative yet empowering. The symmetry is easy on the eyes, and wearing a single large earring is a very different style of bling than two matching chandeliers. Along with the choker, the single is part of a move away from jewelry as a sentimental and personally meaningful statement (the charm bracelet, the locket, the name necklace). Trendy jewelry increasingly has a punchy visual impact instead of a subtle message. The Metropolitan Museum’s Punk show in 2013 had a strong initial influence on this trend – Watson wore an asymmetrical LBD with a long pointed earring at the opening gala, while Cara Delevingne wore spiked gold cuffs on a ear. During the last Paris fashion show tour, the single earring made a name for itself in several of the most influential shows of the season: after roaming the catwalks at Céline and Louis Vuitton in the space of a week, this trend is at the rendezvous of the season. Good news for anyone who has ever lost just one of their favorite pairs of earrings.
Look, no hands: that’s how you’ll show off your bag this season. In recent years, shoulder bags have moved from couriers-only to packing all tube carts, and the Cambridge Satchel Company has championed a utilitarian yet colorful handbag aesthetic. With both the shoulder bag and the satchel now firmly entrenched in the mainstream, the fashion edge has moved on, but cool kids aren’t going to return to the commuter train connotations of the traditional handbag anytime soon. The humble backpack has made a comeback, whether it’s what spotty 15-year-olds lug around their math homework to what pop stars take on the tour bus. (Lily Allen and Lana Del Rey are both fans.) Herschel has cornered the market as the no-fuss, premium canvas backpack brand, but with Mulberry, Stella McCartney and Marc by Marc Jacobs all offering bags. backpack for the new season, the aesthetic bar is on the rise.
If you are still mourning your pashmina a decade later, so cozy, so practical! – you are in luck this fall. The tailored coat and cozy sweater have been overtaken in the cold-weather sartorial stakes by the rise of the uber-blanket. The Burberry finale featured a range of models each sporting a monogrammed plaid blanket; Both Topshop Unique and Roksanda Ilincic featured coats so loose and unstructured they were clearly meant to evoke a blanket wrapped around the shoulders. Kate Moss was recently photographed wearing a saffron-colored Hermès horse blanket as a poncho over cropped jeans, and making it doable as a transitional option, no need for a proper coat just yet. The cover’s appeal is in its lo-fi, campfire chic appeal, but don’t be fooled: it’s a look you need to dress down if you want to avoid looking like you’re been evacuated from your home by a 2am fire alarm. Kate Moss wears hers with high heels and a blow-dry. Take note.