Top 10 Trends for Fall/Winter 2012

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Every year twice a year, designers the world over drop the last veil to reveal their latest collections, hypnotizing the fashion industry and all those obsessed with it while setting the tone for seasons to come.  This fall that tone can best be described as "edgy romantic."  From classically tailored pants embellished with leather trim to feminine silhouettes cut from militaristic fabrics, the underlying theme of this season combines old world elegance with an unexpectedly modern twist.

In this post I have compiled ten of my favorite fall trends. Distilled from the endless looks seen in magazines and on various street-style blogs throughout the past few months, this selection cuts through the noise to reveal only the pieces that are sure to complement any wardrobe.  Whether you are looking for just a few statement accessories or you need head-to-toe sartorial inspiration, this guide will keep you at the top of the best dressed list.

How To Use This Guide:  Scroll through the images for a visual summary of the trends and where you can buy them, or supplement the pictures by reading my descriptions for details on each look.  I organized the galleries by budget - the "Objets de Luxe" images display investment pieces if you've got cash to splash while the "Bon Marché" images showcase the same trends at more affordable price points. Happy Shopping!

1. The Trapeze Tote  I've been obsessing over the Boston bag by Céline for about a year now, and it seems I am not alone.  This season designers have revisited the unconventional shape, adding fresh perspective to classically structured totes by incorporating "trapeze wings" into the sides of their bags for an unconventional spin.

Objets de Luxe

Clockwise from upper left: Reed Krakoff Atlantique tan bag; Reed Krakoff Soft Frame Colorblocked Uniform Satchel; Céline Multi-Colored Trapeze Bag; Giorgio Armani Small Suede & Leather Shopping Tote; 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel 

Bon Marché 

 Zara Trapezoid CityBag, $159

ASOS Metal Corner Satchel, $70.36

Ivanka Trump Ashleigh Ostrich-Embossed Satchel, $175

2. Oxblood The deep merlot hue has been first on this season's colorwheel in every category.  Bags, shoes, tops, jeans, you name it - it's been dyed burgundy.  Wear a hint of fall's "it" color by dressing up your manicure with Essie's Skirting the Issue, or go all out in a pair of 7 For All Mankind Jeans and a blazer from Pixie Market for an updated monochromatic look.

Essie Skirting the Issue, $8

Objet de Luxe 

7 For All Mankind The Skinny print stretch jeans in Burgundy Snake, $259

Bon Marché

Pixie Market Burgundy Blazer with Leather Trim, $109

  3. Studs and Spikes Once reserved only for menacing dogs and boudoir ensembles of the S&M variety, studs and spikes have made their way onto the catwalk and into the hearts of fashionistas everywhere.  While I am loving the look of a Jackie O. inspired jacket adorned with studded trim, my favorite way to wear this trend is on my feet.

Objets de Luxe

Clockwise from upper left: Christian Louboutin Spiked Pigalle Pump; Vince Camuto Bollo Boot (I own these and wear them everywhere!); Sandro Albatrock Studded Sneakers 

Bon Marché Studded Sneakers, $39

 Truth or Dare by Madonna Panu Pump, $200

ASOS Aries Studded Ankle Boots, $62

 4. Futuristic Fur Faux or not, fur has been a signature symbol of winter luxury for over a century.  Ladies of the Downton Abbey era donned gorgeous form-fitting floor length coats made from mink, fox, and rabbit pelts, making way for their daughters who adapted the trend to suit the roaring twenties by shortening the length and expanding the width of the coat for an oversized fit.  Today the fur trend is back, this time appearing not only in coats but in all outerwear: boots, gloves, vests, collars, and my personal favorite - the infinity scarf.  Yet perhaps the wildest thing about this fall's fur collection is the color - designers everywhere have turned up the volume by dying their creations some of the brightest and most vibrant colors imaginable.  Albeit a bit funky and futuristic, this trend embodies exactly that edgy romantic tone I described before - a beautiful, timeless look updated to suit today's modern woman.

Objets de Luxe

Rachel Zoe Trish Faux Fur Peacoat 

Theory Andorie Fur Collar Coat

Adrienne Landau Colored Cropped Raccoon Fur Vest 

Lauren Ralph Lauren Aria Belted Vest with Faux Fur Trim

Bon Marché

Victoria's Secret Faux Fur Collar Coat, $131 - $188 

Nordstrom Halogen Faux Fur Infinity Scarf, $38

 Kate Spade New York Faux Fur Infinity Scarf, $128

*N.B. For tips and tricks on how to wear scarves this season (fur or otherwise), see one of my favorite blogs here.

5. Two-Tone Ankle Boots

Ankle boots are a must-have staple in any woman's wardrobe regardless of seasonal trends, but this fall has seen a lot of the two-tone look.  Two-tone basically means the boot is not made from all one fabric or color, but rather a sort of color-block (or fabric-block) pattern instead.  I went a little crazy earlier in the season and bought two pairs of two-tone booties from H&M, and then last week I saw a pair of Kenneth Cole Reaction boots with brown leather on the front half of the shoe and a gorgeous snake-print around the ankle (naturally I made those mine as well).  I love the two-tone trend because it adds an element of sophistication to any outfit and can be worn in a multitude of ways.  For example, last week I wore the dual brown leather and snakeskin boots with a pair of black corduroys and a cream open-knit sweater to amp up the solid fabrics, while last weekend I sported the H&M black booties (they are two-tone leather and suede) with a pair of grey ikat print slacks.

Objets de Luxe

Clockwise from Upper Left: Jil Sander Osaka Two-Tone Boots; Diane von Furstenberg Claret Haircalf Platform Ankle Boots; Joie Bright Fire Booties; Nicholas Kirkwood Two Tone Ankle Boots

Bon Marché 

Clockwise from Upper Left: Mimco Surrealscape Wedge Bootie, $100; ALDO Cedrina Black Bootie, $120, H&M Imitation Suede Snakeprint Boot, $48; VC Signature Two-Tone Bootie, $100

6. Leather

If there is one trend we can't get enough of this fall it's leather.  Traditionally I've limited my leather collection to moto jackets, boots, and driving gloves, but this season has inspired me to stock up on everything in between.  Pair a leather tee with dark-wash skinnies and ankle boots for a casual weekend look with an edge; or spice up an Equipment blouse by pairing it with a skater-style leather skirt - the possibilities are endless.

Objets de Luxe

Clockwise from Upper Left: Thakoon Addition Quilted Leather Shorts; Robert Rodriguez Leather Top; Alice & Olivia Leather Dress; Rebecca Taylor Leather Shift; Rag & Bone Leather Leggings

Bon Marché

Clockwise from Upper Left: Forever 21 Metallic Faux Leather Shorts, $18; OASIS Faux Leather Shell Top, $56; BCBG Faux Leather-Blocked Legging, $138; UO Reverse Faux Leather Bustier Dress , $89; H&M High-Waisted Leather Skater Skirt, $30 ; BCBG Lewis Paneled Leggings, $168

7. Peplum

The trend that hit stores this spring has gracefully evolved with the changing weather, and demand has only gone up.  The ladylike cut accentuates the waist and minimizes the appearance of wider hips, making it a flattering (and obvious) choice among woman everywhere.  From dresses to skirts to tops and even funky blazers, peplum is definitely this season's most coveted silhouette.

Objets de Luxe

Clockwise from Left: Tibi Floral Print Silk Crepe de Chine Peplum Top; Burberry Prorsum Trench Jacket with Tweed Peplum; Armani Collection Peplum Stretch Crepe Jacket

Bon Marché


Clockwise from Upper Left: Topshop Embossed Peplum Dress, $100; H&M Burgundy Peplum Top, $40; Debenhams Black and Cream Peplum Dress, $40; House of Fraser Linea Peplum Jacket, $135; Fair+True Geometric Print Peplum Skirt, $79; House of Fraser Therapy Bonded Lace Peplum Top, $72

 8. Baroque Accents

As quickly as dainty and delicate jewelry arrived earlier this spring it has gone, replaced by beautiful bold accents reminiscent of the 17th century.  Dolce & Gabbana and Balmain both rocked the fall runways with their lavish designs of jacquard and lace, creating once again that juxtaposition of edgy romance we've seen over and over this season.

Objets de Luxe

Clockwise from Upper Left: Dolce & Gabbana Purse F/W 2012; Dolce & Gabbana Embellished Mesh Dress F/W 2012; Balmain Hand-Embroidered Leather Dress; Balmain Open-Toe Booties; Dolce & Gabbana Bouclé Wool and Brass Jacket; Etsy Baroque Trim Gold Round Sunglasses; Just Cavalli Baroque Print Silk Satin Dress

Bon Marché

Clockwise from Upper Left: Miss Selfridge Baroque Peplum Top, $42; AX Paris Baroque Print Skater Dress, $24; Missguided Ferna Baroque Panel Leggings, $26; River Island Black Baroque Print Cardigan, $32; River Island Baroque Print Purse, $30; Romwe Baroque Print Basic Dress, $45; Baroque Sunglasses, $14; Topshop High Neck Jacquard Skater Dress, $240; Goldtone Stone Baroque Ring, $48

 9. Tailored Pants

While some might associate tailored trousers with the androgynous look we've seen a lot of lately, I prefer to think of well-fitting pants as every woman's basic sartorial right.  Perhaps it is the feminist in me, but I don't think there is anything androgynous about slipping into a pair of perfectly cut slacks that subtly accentuates a woman's curves while lengthening her legs.  Pair with an open blazer and patent leather pumps for a look that is both powerful and refined, or throw on a quarter-length knit sweater and a chunky necklace to lend the ensemble an air of playfulness.

Objets de Luxe

Clockwise from Left:  Prada Silk Diamond Print Trousers; Erdem Pelham Print Trouser; Altuzarra Redwood Banjara Printed Techno-Satin Trousers; Tibi Tuxedo Beatles Pants; Theory Belisa Cropped Pants; Stella McCartney Tailored Fine Wool Trousers

Bon Marché

Clockwise from Upper Left:  Topshop Chinoiserie Jacquard Cigarette Trousers, $90; Zara Oriental Print Trousers, $60; Black Floral Print Carrot Cotton Crop Pant, $32; J.Crew Minnie Pant in Stretch Twill, $50; H&M Trousers, $56; Michael Michael Kors Python Print Stretch-Cotton Trousers, $215

10. Jewel Tones

Perhaps inspired by Her Majesty the Queen of England's Diamond Jubilee (or perhaps not), this fall/winter color palette most certainly got the royal treatment.  The season's "it" color, oxblood, is just one example of the jewel tone color scheme that has taken fall fashion by storm, and the brilliantly dyed furs seen in trend #4 of this guide further emphasize the need for rich hues.  From emerald, garnet, and amethyst to sapphire, ruby, and tourmaline, it looks as if a girl's best friend is made of more than diamonds this year.

Objets de Luxe

Clockwise from Left: B Brian Atwood Mella Fringed Boots; Preen Dalia Ted Wrap Waist Dress; Diane von Furstenberg Branitta Wool-Blend Sweater Dress; Jacqueline Clark Concave Caviar Ring; Jason Wu Rivia Tiered Silk-Chiffon Dress; Gucci Crepe de Chine Bow Blouse; AF Orange Agate Earrings

Bon Marché

Clockwise from Upper Left: Amrita Singh Lenora Earrings, $50; Coast Emmy Crepe Dress, $200; Zara Women Blazer, $60; Current Elliot Ankle Skinny Jeans, $185; Amrita Singh Pavé Riverside Earrings, $100; Mango Stone Embossed Ring, $40; ASOS Suede Patchwork Clutch, $53; MinkPink Splash Sequin Miniskirt, $57; DV by Dolce Vita Lissa Flats, $79