Libya summit: Participants agree to respect arms embargo    Egypt's Shoukry, EU's Borrell discuss Libyan crisis    Egypt's Azhar cooperates with all religious institutions to achieve international peace : Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb    Madbouly chairs SCNW meeting on GERD's upcoming technical, legal discussions    Government to use smart technologies to promote tourism    Yemen's Hadi declares state of alert in army after Houthi attack    IDB profits reach EGP 512m in 2019    No elections without Jerusalem: Fatah official    Quaint little hole in the wall downtown selected by CNN as Egypt's best Molokhia    Jordan parliament passes draft law to ban gas imports from Israel    Police fire water cannons as Beirut protests turn violent    Two Egyptian artists to participate in site-responsive exhibition at Medina's Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia    Libyan tribesmen say they have closed El Shahara and El Feel oilfields    Egy Lease to provide finances of EGP1bln during 2020    Harry, Meghan drop their royal titles repay £2.4 mln    International Film Music Contest accepts entries from a variety of composers, performers    Russia's Putin says he opposes unlimited presidential term    Live score: Liverpool v Manchester United (Egyptian Premier League)    Tennis: Djokovic the man to beat, again, at Melbourne Park    Honeywell, Etisalat Misr join forces to support Egypt's Smart City vision    West Ham fan protest is familiar ground for Moyes    Sisi, World Bank seeks further cooperation    Draft deal on Ethiopia's GERD to take shape this week    Iran's Khamenei should be careful with his words: warns Trump    Parliamentary elections to be held in November: Baha Abu Shoqa    S. Korean companies keen on new industrial partnerships with Egyptian counterparts: Ambassador    No pressures imposed on Egypt to accept Washington's deal on GERD: Irrigation Ministry    Egypt's young pharaoh, TUT in Australia's Boston exhibition    Alexandria, Dekheila ports working normally despite medium rain    Iran's Khamenei stands by Guards after unrest over downed plane    Egypt's interior ministry says Mostafa Kassem received fair trial, was convicted terrorist    Egyptian actress Magda Al-Sabahi dies at 89    Egypt is best tourism destination for 2020 according to BBC    Government launches Upper Egypt's first cultural festival    Egypt names executive head of comprehensive health insurance authority – ministry    Nancy Ajram's husband charged with ‘intentional' murder    6th of October Rotary club trains undergrads for teaching literacy workshops    BBC names Egypt as best tourism destination for 2020    WHO says new China coronavirus could spread, warns hospitals worldwide    Ethiopian Dam talks to continue in Washington on Wednesday : Ministry    Mission Africa continues    Egyptian sports in 2020: challenges and opportunities    Tough Mudder obstacle course race takes place for first time in Egypt    NBE studies establishment of rowing club in Cairo    Egypt's Zamalek, Smouha presidents hit with disciplinary sanctions by EFA    Egypt's President Sisi pardons some prisoners on 25 Jan. Revolution anniversary    Egypt's Sami Anan released after near two-year detention    Liverpool's Mohamed Salah optimistic to see Egypt at 2022 World Cup    

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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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