Fall Fashion 2016: A Season of Extremes

Chokers are making a huge comeback this season, only a part of the 90’s trend. Courtesy of Flickr

Chokers are making a huge comeback this season, only a part of the 90’s trend. (Courtesy of Flickr)

By Isabella LiPuma

This summer’s heat wave has left many of us favoring skimpy staples over substantial ones. For the past several months, we have been donning monochromatic crop tops and body-con dresses to stay cool. Emerging fashion icon Kylie Jenner, artist Rihanna and a variety of Instagram influencers have left us lusting after the “normcore” (a combination of the words “normal” and “hardcore”) uniform.

Brands like Calvin Klein, FILA and Adidas have come back with a vengeance (and with absurdly high price point). Urban Outfitters charging $49.95 for a vintage logo tee is ridiculous.
Fall, however, welcomes not only an extension of the “normcore” trend, but also an array of more decadent styles and fabrics to work with. The 70s are back and here to stay. Glitter is being thrown on just about everything. Wacky staples like chunky platforms and hyper-embellished jewelry dominate the runaway.
This fall presents us with a dichotomy of the seemingly rudimentary athleisure trend juxtaposed with rich, bohemian textures and advanced silhouettes. One can look to the 90s for baggy hoodies, silken sweatpants and baseball caps and then delve into the synthesis of 70s and Baroque styles of crushed velvet fabrics, plaid miniskirts, accompanying capelets and metallic accessories.
The apex of this fall’s two trends, however, lies in the “statement choker.” Chokers came to fruition as a political accessory during the French Revolution when women headed for the guillotine began circling their necks with ribbons to symbolize their oppression. The choker made a return in the mid-to-late 18th century as prostitutes and royals alike donned ribbons or jeweled collars as emblems of their status. The choker returned as a trendy “dog collar” in an issue of LIFE from 1944 and the trend was solidified in the 1990s. Celebrities wore diamond-encrusted chokers while the generation’s youngsters coated their necks in rhinestone-encrusted and swirly “tattoo” chokers.
For those of us who cannot afford McQueen’s whimsical collars and Dolce & Gabbana’s babygirl chokers, stores like H&M and Claire’s offer inexpensive and versatile imitations.
Hoop earrings also make a comeback this season, with celebrities donning huge gold and silver baubles. Stores like Charming Charlie and Icing have a wide selection. In addition, Fordham Road’s beauty shops sell inexpensive hoops.
These minimal accessories are best complemented by sneakers, stylish sweatpants and bomber or varsity jackets, all of which make a continuation of spring’s 90s comeback. Fashion takes on a sense of androgyny and then loads on the accessories. Pair a varsity jacket with gold hoops and voila: you have got a look. Look to stores like Uniqlo and H&M for textured basics.
Although dressing down is increasingly popular, this season’s trends are not exclusively casual. On the more ornate side of the spectrum, luxury bohemian patterns as well as leathers and textures have resurfaced. Frilly collars with long skirts and dresses dominate the fall 2016 runway, giving a new name to “granny-chic” in a technicolor assortment. Mixed prints and wacky patterns are the new normal with designers like Dries Van Noten pairing snakeskin with leopard. Fashion’s rules have essentially been thrown out the door in favor the of eclecticism — in essence, the weirder the better.
Throw a faux-fur jacket over florals. Combine sequins with plaid. Think Stevie Nicks, and then imitate her with chunkier heels, wilder colors and digitized patterns (the Topshop on Fifth Ave allows you to make your own prints via computers by the escalator). The 70s are back and here to stay, so do not be afraid to re-wear the trends of 2013 that lurk in the back of your closet. All of those transparent floral tank tops can be repurposed. Just add texture.
In terms of color, fashion favors pastel shades like baby pink and light blue as well as their more saturated parents maroon and navy. And of course, there is always black. The 90s craves lighter hues, while the 70s is darker. But of course, feel free to run wild and let your freak flag fly by mixing palettes.
This fall’s trendy bohemian accessories include basically anything with snakeskin, Mary Janes, structured leather bags and gold baubles. Chandelier earrings, velvet scarves and embellished saddle bags are also popular. Check out jojane.com, Forever 21 and even Target for ornate add-ons.
As for beauty, all bets are off with yet another set of dichotomous looks. Fall fashion in 2016 is all about contrasts. Dewy, fresh faces (as marketed by Milk makeup and Glossier campaigns) promote clean and simple canvases for thick liner and a statement lip. With a nod to the French, who favor fast and natural makeup looks, this fall’s beauty trends allow us to slide out of bed, apply a drop of BB cream, dot our eyes with liner and call it a day (you can do your lipstick on the way to class). Celebrities like Zendaya and Alexa Chung sport thick, dark eyeliner à la grunge and bold lip colors like mulberry, red and even black.
On the more wild side of beauty, the 90s return yet again with loose glitter-coated eyelids and statement brows. Both Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger, amongst others, have popularized this trend by sending their models out with loose glitter eyeshadow in shades of silver and gold. Any craft store’s chunky glitter will suffice. Make sure to trade in Elmer’s for a good primer!
Colored hair also makes a comeback with Instagram celebrities sporting pastel pouts. Suddenly everyone’s going blue, pink or even yellow. Cassie simply slayed at last week’s VMAs with a fabulous neon bob.
In short, this fall is all about embracing eras of the past with either super simple or incredibly detailed styles. It is a season of extreme with uniform colors and minimal, sporty looks on one hand and decadent, gypsy ensembles on the other. The 70s and the 90s prevail for fall 2016, so look to your childhood celebrities, and then look to your mother’s childhood celebrities for inspiration. Happy hunting!

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