Motor Trend

Every season has a defining fashion item or two, for fall 2013,  it’s the moto jacket. Moto is slang for the omnipresent motorcycle influenced jackets, taking to the streets on every level of the contemporary market. Be it buttery or faux leather or some sort of coated twill, they are cleanly urbane or encrusted with industrial zippers and studs. There are biker, bomber, baseball, denim, quilted and draped jacket styles.

Leather and leather-looks have been gaining speed since last year, for women and men. Items include jackets, vests, jeans, dresses, tops, skirts and leggings. Leather details, trim, fronts or sleeves are found on sweaters, tee shirts, jackets, jeans and leggings. A touch of leather adds bad-ass sass. The moto-jacket is the must-have piece!

Get your moto on with fall 2013's must-have leather jackets!

Get your moto on with fall 2013’s must-have leather jackets!

These easy riders are found in almost every fashion collection including Burberry, Vince, Theory, Helmut Lang, Elie Tahari and most other contemporary and designer lines. They also are also found at democratic prices in places like Forever 21 and Zara.

Leather up and take control, these power pieces have a way of taking the air out of the room. Moto jackets are worth the investment as they have classic attitude and the life span of a denim jacket. Pair with jeans for play or cashmere for the boardroom. Show who’s boss at work or throw over a sequin dress to edge up the night. They rock with camo jeans for tough-as-nails chic or soften the blow, by pairing with a feminine pastel skirt or top. Get your moto on and hit the road!

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix & Pond Consulting Creative and strategic consulting for retail, wholesale apparel,  footwear, consumer products and branding agencies. Follow me to get the latest posts

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Fall 2012 Jaded Outlook

To the casual observer color evolution is so slow, it is to be missed. Color trends advance steadily but significant palette changes don’t appear obvious until seen in retrospect. It is easy to identify in decades, like the good-time pastels of the 50’s and the anti-establishment avocados and golds of the 70’s. Colors in fashion, accessories, beauty and home sprout, grow, peak and die. Palettes and ranges crossover during this process. It is always a reflection of the social mood.

We are in an explosive color phase now. Spring/Summer 2012 showcased some of the brightest colors we have seen in decades. Neons, Tangerine Tango (the Pantone color of the year) and uber brights. Color-blocking, colored accessories and colorful nail colors competed for our attention and dollars in a less than stellar economic environment, (i.e. Coach’s new Legacy collection for fall). When times are tough, color takes us out of our collective funk.

Green-tinged blues are emerging, as the must-have color for fall 2012!

Green-tinged blues are emerging, as the must-have color for fall 2012!

Color watchers look for emerging shades that haven’t made the scene in a while. Their dormancy gives them freshness, like the new kid on the block. For fall 2012 we have a jaded outlook, and teal is the current must-have. Green-tinged blues are the new-found friend. These deep-water shades are calming, rich and pair well with blues and pops of gold. A jaded outlook is sprouting in apparel, accessories, beauty and home decor and  expect it will continue into next year.

My personal obsession this fall is with Furla’s rubber “Candy Satchel”  in Pavone!

Dix&Pond is the blog of www.dixandpond.com                                                                                                                                                                    Creative and strategic consulting for retail and wholesale apparel, shoe and consumer product companies.

Well Shod- Fall 2012 Shoe Trends

Shoes and bags have been on a retail tear lately. The excitement in footwear and handbag design is palpable. As designers have taken style risks in colors, shapes and materials, consumers have rewarded them with ever-increasing sales. The Saks 5th Avenue flagship which has one of the most extensive and exciting designer shoe floors on the planet is expanding once again. Macy’s Herald Square is creating the largest shoe floor in the world at 39,000 square feet. There is a highly innovative period happening in athletic, casual, dress shoes and boots. In the shoe biz, the ante is up and it’s no time to bluff.

Fall 2012 Shoe Trends

Fall 2012 Shoe Trends

Shoes and handbags like the beauty area, are inclusionary of all sizes and ages, so all customers can play in the game. Plus-sized customers have under-sized apparel options so they turn to the democratic shoe floor for a fashion update. With shoes (with a few extreme exceptions), the forgotten male or female boomer can send a major fashion smoke signal, without looking like a desperate fool.

Women covet shoes and will reach beyond their means for status brands like Prada, Miu Miu, Valentino, Tory Burch, Brian Atwood and Christian Louboutin. They are also stuffing their closets with Uggs, Sperry, Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors, Nike, Converse, Hunter, BCBG, Stuart Weitzman, Cole Haan, Ivanka Trump, Tom’s and Isaac Mizrahi to name a few.

Here’s a run down on the best Fall 2012 trends:

Color and Patterns – Colors and patterns such as animal prints, are major drivers of newness in all categories of shoes

Lighter Than Air – Ultralight and colorful running and athletic shoes from Nike, Asics, New Balance Minimus, etc.

Retro Vulcanized – Retro sneakers are hot in new materials and colors from Superga, Uggs, Converse and other designers.

Glam Casuals – Casual has gone glamorous in boat shoes, slippers, boots, loafers and sneakers with glam styling such as metallic, sequins and glitter

Tough Love – Biker details such as buckles, straps and multi-studs on boots, sandals and smoking slippers

Oxford Grad – Classic and inventive oxfords continue in contrast colors and materials (Valentino even has lace tipped patent leather oxfords!)

Tipping Point – Ultra high ice pick heels and pointy toed pumps

Feminine Flats – The world is flat.. especially hot are smoking slippers in a wide variety of materials

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix&Pond…creative and strategic consulting for retail and wholesale apparel, shoe and consumer products.

Nifty Shades of Gray

There is a graying of America going on and I’m not talking about an aging population or a bestselling novel. Gray is the trending neutral color that has taken the apparel and home markets by storm, fog, stone, graphite, and black pearl. Grays are a modern choice for clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories, beauty, nail color, home decor, textiles, wallpaper and paint.

Shades of gray are the modern neutral for apparel, accessories, beauty and home decor.

Shades of gray are the modern neutral for apparel, accessories, beauty and home decor.

No other color is at once elegant, sporty, sexy and sophisticated for sportswear, dresses and lingerie. Gray is the perfect transitional color. In apparel, gray is the modern foil to pair with the omnipresent bright and neons shades instead of comic strip black. It transports pastels from saccharine to cosmopolitan. Head-to-toe tonal grays are the essence of impeccable taste and 50’s chic. Even the most dedicated black and white urbanites can update their uniform and soften their edge with nifty shades of gray.

Gray has become a basic in towels, sheets, rugs and pillows. In home decor, gray is the perfect backdrop for strong colors like chartreuse, red or inky blues. It creates a calming retreat when paired with ivory, pinky purples, creamy aqua or whipped butter. Gray is black’s kinder, gentler, cousin. For maximum impact, when combining grays, contrast textures like shiny and matte, fluffy and smooth, to up the style quotient.

Fashion is a reflection of the social mood. I guess we are in the mood for a calmer, gentler time.

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix&Pond…creative and strategic consulting for retail, wholesale, analysts and investors.

British Invader – Ted Baker

English fashion often has a quirky sensibility to it. It can range from dowdy, dipped-in-color royal style to avant-garde street wear. Proper classics touched with a whimsical twist are also a hallmark of British design. The fascinator hats, worn by UK women at festive, formal occasions are a perfect example.

A unique Ted Baker dress.

A unique Ted Baker dress.

There are many UK fashion and beauty brands invading American shores. Burberry is the international superstar, but gaining terra firma are Hunter (the famous Wellington boots, shoes and bags), All Saints Spitalfields (progressive street fashion), Thomas Pink (shirt maker for men and women), Barbour  (classic outerwear), Butter London  nail color (trend setting color), Illamasqua cosmetics (“makeup for your alter ego”), and many more. Some of these companies have decades of brand history and others are relative newbies.

One of my favorites is the irreverent, colorful, ladylike Ted Baker. The London-based Ted Baker , was started by the designer in 1987, as a men’s shirt company and now makes menswear, womenswear,  accessories, fragrance, skincare, footwear, eyewear and watches. They are especially known for their feminine colorful sportswear, accessories and whimsical handbags. The unique personality of the brand stands out in a vanilla retail landscape. I’m especially enamored with his patent leather bags, clutches and printed vinyl totes.

Ted Baker has their own international retail stores and is found at better retailers like Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom. Preferring not to advertise, they have grown mostly by word of mouth. Now you are in on secret!

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix & Pond consulting. Follow me on Pinterest

Ted Baker colorful and retro accessories.

Ted Baker colorful and retro accessories.

Miu Miu – A Journey Without Leaving Home

When shopping brick and mortar, I try to let myself be led by the call of great merchandise. I never shop recreationally, since I spend so much time in stores. I want to be transfixed and enticed by products so compelling, that I am stopped in my tracks. This is a rare and special occurrence. More often than not, when perusing shoe departments, I stop short at the sight of  Miu Miu shoes (the Prada sister brand). These over-the-top, scene-stealing pumps, stilettos, sandals and sneakers bring me to my wobbly knees. These sexy, shiny, jewel encrusted shoes are for the wanna-be bad girl, in all of us.  Miu Miu has the ability to take me on a fantastic journey without leaving home!

These stilettos from Miu Miu hit a glam slam.

These pumps and sandals from Miu Miu hit a glam slam!

Miu Miu is designer Miuccia Prada’s nick name, pronounced Miou, Miou. She started this avant-garde line of apparel, shoes and accessories in the early nineties, as a slightly less expensive line to Prada.  A serious growth story, Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli, expects the Miu Miu  brand to double from around $500 million. You get rewarded for exceptional work!

You have to have a certain jet set lifestyle to don these duds. The average mortal, even if they can afford the pricey shoes, doesn’t live the life. I suspect they are selling millions of dollars worth of hope and worn on rare occasions, unless you are a middle eastern princess , Russian oil oligarchess or American reality star!

dix & pond is the blog of dix& pond consulting.

Accessories Update: Graphic Art

Designers are getting graphic this spring with dramatic, scene-stealing black and white accessories. These mighty shoes and handbags are going to command the attention of classic style icons and fashion-loving city slickers alike.

Dynamic black and white houndstooths, checks, stripes, dots, geometrics and florals are adorning wedges, espadrilles, pumps, sling backs, platforms, sneakers, flip-flops, totes, shoppers and more. These high-contrast patterns make a huge statement and generally prevail over an entire outfit. They are emotionally driven items and highly useful in a woman wardrobe, so are sure to fly out of the stores.

Graphic black and white accessories are seen on all levels of the market, but the some of the best shoes and bags are from Salvatore Ferragamo, Ann Klein, Sam Edelman, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman, Christian Dior, Alice and Olivia, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, Charles David, Pour La Victoire and Converse.

Scene-stealing graphic accessories for spring 2012.

Scene-stealing graphic accessories for spring 2012.

Not So Basix Dresses

The best fashion has the ability to stop you in your tracks and take your breath away. I was transported by this tulle and crystal confection  by Basix Black Label. This dress is pure fantasy, the captivating promise of a Cinderella night. Maybe I could dance the lead in Swan Lake? This OMG dress is suited for an elegant Grace Kelly type chicster, ready to quietly steal the show and bring men to their wobbly knees.

This confection is D5154A by Basix Black Label.

This little confection by Basix is D5154A.

Basix Black Label (part of D+ I Fashion) is a wholesale manufacturer of cocktail, evening, special occasion dresses and dressy separates available at upscale stores such as Neiman Marcus. (See Basix Black Label.)

Minty Fresh

Mint and aquas look especially fresh with off-beat colors such as citrine and pops of bright coral.As a dedicated color hunter, I’m always scouting for colors or color families that are quietly emerging or haven’t been important in a while. The pale to medium greenish aqua family is sneaking up on us, with delicate seafoam, dinner mint green and green-toned turquoise washing up on all levels of the apparel market. They range from super pale, to dusty to white-washed brights. Except for the palest of mint greens, these colors have been omnipresent in home and stationery for a long time, but haven’t been important in women’s apparel.

It is often hard to explain the genesis of a color trend. Designers are influenced by color trend services, social influences and personal and brand preferences. We have been slugging it through tough times and this optimistic, sun-kissed color family is a virtual walk down Worth Avenue. These beachy-keen, retro 50’s, colors pack a sugary wallop. They are all over the market in collections as varied as Rachel Roy, Diane Von Furstenburg, Lululemon, Converse, 7 for All Mankind, Hudson, Free People, , Rag and Bone, St. John and J. Crew, in everything including dresses, tops, jeans, yoga wear, sneakers and sweaters.

The surrounding color players, will keep the palette modern and out of matronly, insipid territory. Pastel seafoam or minty green looks especially fresh paired with off-beat colors or deep pops such as citrine or bright coral. These colors are well anchored with pure white and navy neutrals. Head-to-toe dinner mint or greenish turq can a cause a serious toothache without an unexpected, modern accent such as a nude shoe or coral tote.

This fresh, emotionally charged color family is sure to gain importance in upcoming seasons.

Incredible Ippolita

Ippolita's Rose collection

If you asked an average American woman to name five fine jewelry brands she would probably say Tiffany’s, David Yurman, Harry Winston and after that would probably be left scratching her head for more. Even though the fine jewelry industry is in the “fashion business”, somehow fine jewelry brands don’t seem to bubble up in the public consciousness. I think the industry has billed themselves as sellers of boring commodities versus being  “must-have”  fashion brands in their own right. It is an industry asleep at the wheel, still dominated by small local retailers and dull-as-dust mall stores. Most style icons pine for the bolder statements created  by the so-called “fashion jewelry”  (costume) companies, currently dominated  by Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, J Crew, BCBG and others.

Then there is Ippolita. This Tuscan-born, Italian-American designer of contemporary fine jewelry is soon-to-be a bigger household name. Ippolita is coming on strong with her marketing of modern precious jewelry for the fashion obsessed. Her online and traditional media is sexy and compelling in a trendsetting, casual style. This multi-disciplinary sculptress, glass artist and acclaimed jewelry designer started in private label costume jewelry in the 90’s and then introduced her first fine jewelry collection in 2000.

Her  modern risk-taking designs and casually layered style is destined for brand greatness in a sea of solitaires and yawn-inducing tennis bracelets. She layers bold, handcrafted pieces encrusted with gems in a modern melange.  Wake up and smell the espresso, this quiet little Ferrari is passing everyone on the right! Ippolita is poised to take advantage of the sturdy luxury market; as she doesn’t dish up the same safe, traditional styling found in most fine jewelry.

I have particularly fallen for her Riviera Sky (multi-colored stones set in 18K gold), Glamazon (bold silver and gold classic statement pieces like 3″ hoops and chains), Rock Candy (gemstones set in contemporary gold and silver settings) and Rose (rose gold collection of solid metals).

The sexy, modern Wicked collection.

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