Rooney gets Derby manager's job permanently, stops playing    Six EU states say 'situation unacceptable' after Pfizer-BioNTech cuts vaccine deliveries    Fiji wins presidency of UN rights body after vote unblocks leadership impasse    Italy extends COVID curbs amid third wave risks    Biden picks familiar faces for top roles at FEMA, CIA    Biden unveils plan to pump $1.9 trillion into pandemic-hit economy    Ibrahimovic planning talks on extending Milan stay    Hard to enforce ban on players hugging, says Chelsea's Lampard    Olympics: Japan to ban entry of foreign athletes during virus emergency    Bank ABC acquires Blom Bank Egypt for $480 million: Sources    Egypt's Sisi discusses bilateral ties, regional developments with Sudanese delegation    Egyptian banks' balances abroad surge to $20bn at December-end    Egypt's Mostaqbal Watan party dominates the leading posts of parliament's 25 committees    EBRD provides €784 mn in credit lines for Egyptian private sector, SMEs in 2020    EU stocks advance as U.S. stimulus hopes and China data boost sentiment    Egypt's budget deficit to GDP ratio receded to 3.6% in first half of FY2020/21, revenues rose by 16%    Mubarak-era politician Safwat El-Sherif dies aged 88    Handball: Egypt ease past Chile 35-29 in World Championship opener    Egypt's president, Siemens CEO discuss final deal on construction of electric train system    Hollywood actor Mena Massoud visits Giza pyramids, says is proud of Egyptian culture    Egypt confirms 970 new coronavirus cases, 55 deaths on Tuesday    EgyptAir to operate daily flight to Doha after lifting airspace ban on Qatar    Gana Hena play at Al-Ghad Theatre is a must go    Egypt confirms 961 new coronavirus cases, 52 deaths on Monday    Egypt reopens airspace and resumes flights with Qatar    Egypt, Tunisia to establish maritime trade route    TVs were high in demand during 2020 on COVID-19 lock down: Samsung    Egypt eyes gradual return for tourism after revenues fall to $4 bln in 2020    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Coronavirus strikes Egypt's youth team as 17 players, coach test positive    Nassef Sawiris plans to up his stake in owner of New York Knicks, Rangers    Cairo International Book Fair suspended for five months over coronavirus concerns    Egypt unveils largest archaeological discovery in 2020 with over 100 intact sarcophagi    Trump says won't blame Egypt for being ‘upset' over GERD dispute with Ethiopia    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    Global Finance: Egypt's Tarek Amer among the world's top 20 central bank governors    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    

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Those falling leaves
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 01 - 11 - 2006

By Lubna Abdel-Aziz
Rushing to herald the fall season, cooler weather causes some panic among both sexes. Those long summer days that we thought would never end, are all behind us, as we hasten to put away our swimsuits and flip-flops and studiously examine our winter wardrobe. If clothes make the man, they definitely 'wrap up' the woman.
Why do we follow fashion? To identify with a select group, to be included among the privileged beautiful people like athletes, politicians and movie stars, or just to feel more attractive? Maybe we simply desire to change our appearance. Whatever our reasons, we all follow fashion and surrender to the designing powers that be. What have they decreed for the new season?
Designers turn to nature's panorama of autumnal splendour for colour, inspiration and coordination. Though subdued and deep-hued, nature's earthy tones are as lush and mysterious as her short grey days and long winter nights. Grey is the colour of choice in all its shades, from silvery dawn and pewter twilight, to icy-grey white and indy- blue midnight. Max Mara displays understated good taste with a very muted palette of greys, charcoal, and black, while steely grey was a mainstay at Bottega Veneta. The look is updated with soft grey sheer tights and metallic silver accessories, and brightened up with splashes of brilliant red in belts, bags, and shoes.
If you loathe grey, no matter what they say, gold is one of the season's hottest looks. The falling leaves of autumn offer a dazzling array of vibrant hues from subtle to rich monochromes, mahogany, burgundy, purple, and plum.
Texture ranges from velvet to leather with tablecloth check, plaid, and herringbone as shown by Calvin Klein. For imperial car-to-door sumptuous occasions, black is still king, but if you fear drowning in a sea of black and grey go for a glazy vibrant red. Nothing is more irresistible than a powerful red dress as shown by Dolce & Gabbana.
New styles take us back on a nostalgic journey to the 80s for gloriously oversized slouchy sweaters and belted roomy tunics worn over leggings, footless tights, or skinny pants. Leggings are no longer only for the gym, but are seen from dawn to dusk in a variety of colours worn under coats, mini- skirts, tailored shorts, or even chiffon dresses. Gold leggings are also worn in the evenings, over short black trapeze styles.
Our love affair with the mini has lasted for 4 decades and is still ongoing since it first shocked Londoners during the 60s. Known as the Chelsea look, designer Mary Quant promoted the outrageously minuscule skirt in her 'Bazaar' boutique in Chelsea, but it was Andrés Courréges who first introduced the mini in 1964. It only took off however, and became an international trend when adopted by the 'punks' of swinging London.
Skirts have been a crucial part of our dress for centuries. In ancient times, both men and women wore skirts, basically a rectangular cloth wrapped around the lower torso as seen in many ancient Egyptian paintings. Skirts are again big news with the 'cocoon', a throwback to Balenciaga's creation first shown in Pairs in 1937. For 30 years Cristobàl Balenciaga dominated the world of fashion as the most influential couturier of his time. Now, with Ghesquiére at the helm, Balenciaga has re-introduced the voluminous skirt as well as the peplum jacket or coat, and the balloon sleeve, inspiring every other designer to follow suit. Clearly the sleeve is another style focus this season in lantern, bell, ball, or balloon design -- everything old is new again!
Dresses are bigger than ever in favourite empire, cocoon, trapeze, and swinging knits. Leggings look hot with all of the above. Trousers are another look back to the future, as far back as the 40s and the Kate Hepburn look, with wide legs, pleats and cuffs as seen at Diane Von Furstenberg and Giorgio Armani. Layering is another hot look, keeping us toasty warm during the long winter nights.
Men are never left out of the fashion scene, though they definitely take a back seat. The silhouette this fall is fitted. Fine fabrics, a smart cut, attention to detail, give a gentlemanly appearance, with Edwardian elements adding a dandified look. Colours for men are the many hues of purple, but if that idea raises both eyebrows, choose natural earth tones or rich blues. Though many men hate turtle necks, they are most elegant and classic; give them another try.
Boots are indispensable, ankle length or knee-high. The classic pump is forever classic, so are the toe flats or the comfy platform pump, often tied with schoolgirl ankle straps known as Mary Janes. Round or peep toes are also in.
If you are against wearing animal furs you have to bear it or faux it. Furs are major accessories from fox to marmot, on collar & cuffs, and even on vests. Gloves are a new must, so are ruffles sequins, flounces and beads. Bags are mammoth or tiny bejewelled clutches
There is no question that we shall all be reaching for past years' classics regardless. Few can afford to replenish their wardrobe each season. But we must step in with fashion's new trends, even if it is restricted to an accessory or two. We hope we have covered a few basics that will embellish your season and pep up your appearance.
Wear it all with your new face, no longer nude or monochromatic, but with strong lips glossed with pomegranate. Smoky autumn eyes are seductive in plums and golds, inspired by fall foliage. There is nothing like a new coif to lift your spirit and change your appearance. Choose a short, sharp bob, or a neat sweet chignon.
You may say there is more to life than fashion, but if mother nature can change her looks with every season, why shouldn't we! Viewing the splendour of her autumn leaves of red and gold, it is only wise to follow her lead.
"....if it be our clothes alone which fit us for society,
how highly should we esteem those who make them!"
-- Marie Ebner von Eschenbach (1830 -- 1916)

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