September is here, and that means it’s time to reinvent your wardrobe. PBI recently spoke with Saks Fifth Avenue Senior Vice President, Fashion Director Roopal Patel about the colors, styles, and pieces everyone will be rocking this fall.
PBI: What major trends for women do you expect to see this season?
Patel: We’re really excited about the movement [toward] empowering women. Designers were affected by what’s happening in the world today and are dressing women in what we’re calling “New Power Suiting.” The return of the suit feels fresh and directional. It’s not just your classic suit of boardroom stripes or black; there’s a lot of novelty whether it’s brocade, printed florals, crystal, diamanté. We also love the return of the jacket. A statement jacket can really bring out your personality. [Also,] it’s a decadent and opulent season, so you’ll see incredible texture with velvet, sequin, feathers. Some of our favorite shows of the season had this maximalist approach, like Gucci, Prada, and Saint Laurent to name a few.
What about for men?
There’s a lot of synergy between menswear and women’s wear because you sometimes have the same designer designing [both]. In menswear, we saw this return to velvet, the idea of velvet being the new suede. There are lot of plaids this season [and] it’s almost a return to the English countryside in the tailoring. And then athleisure is really trending. We’re starting to see designers being into this northern explorer as if they’re getting ready to hike the mountains or go on a ski excursion. With menswear, [he can have] a great velvet jacket or an estate plaid suit, but then also making sure he’s got a great puffer jacket or an amazing, fun novelty athleisure knit to layer. Men have a lot to choose from.
What trends are losing speed?
There’s a little less fringe. Feathers are the new fringe. If you’re deciding between a fringe jacket or that feather-embellished top, I’d probably go with the [latter].
What colors will be most popular?
We saw designers experimenting with bold and graphic color. The one combination we love the most is a pink dress with a great red shoe. We love a pink and red combination. It feels unique.
What about shoe styles?
It is a boot season, and the most coveted [style] is a Saint Laurent crystal boot. It’s this idea of twinkle toes, of really bling shoes done in a cool, modern way that isn’t just for evening. It’s also all about a white statement boot or a red boot. Slouchy boots with ‘70s glamour are trending. We saw some great slouchy boots at Saint Laurent, as well as at Isabel Marant and Gianvito Rossi. Combat boots, booties, velvet booties—there’s a boot wardrobe every woman is going to embrace.
When we think of power dressing, you’ve got the power suit but we’re also seeing a power bag, which is more structured. It has a top handle, and it’s not so oversized that it feels like a work bag. Also, with all of the white boots, we do love a matching white bag. It complements a lot of colors and adds a little bit of wow.
What hot trends are you seeing for fall jewelry?
With jewelry, it’s feeling very fresh. We saw layered jewelry—layered necklaces and rings. There’s a lot of embellishment, but not in the traditional sense. Whether it’s feathers or faux fur or real fur, there are a lot of great, colored collars and necklaces. [Those materials] were also being worn across the body, in shawls, neck warmers, and even feather hats at Prada. Layering with small accessories brings that embellished look out.
What beauty looks did you spot on Fall 2017 runways?
We saw a lot of pink and red tones. I personally love a strong lip. There was a little bit of this glitterati feeling with crystal in nails and in lips. That’s fun to play around with for evenings and special occasions.
What up-and-coming designers are you most excited about?
We’ve actually brought on a few new young designers this season. I think Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia from Monse are definitely the cool kids on the block. They’re the new creative directors at Oscar de la Renta. We’re very excited about what Laura and Fernando are doing. We’re also really excited about Gabriela Hearst. She just won the Woolmark Prize and the CFDA Award. Johanna Ortiz is a Colombian designer who has a lot of flair, a lot of color. [She makes] very sensual clothing. I think Johanna is a rising star and talent who continues to shine. And in that way when we talk about power suiting, Sara Battaglia gave us some really strong jackets and pants and is helping to define what the new woman is wearing. A lot of [these new designers] are women, which is really exciting—women designing for women.
What are your go-to timeless looks and pieces you like to rock on a daily basis?
I love having a new interpretation of a stripe. Is it a striped dress? A striped skirt? Being able to mix stripes with solids or even clashing it with another print is always great. And I love cargos—cargo coats, cargo jackets. It’s like my version of a denim jacket.