Fall Fashion Trends 2016

It’s amazing how quickly time flies when we’re having fun. I remember writing Fall Fashion trends for 2014 when I first started this blog. Since then, I’ve started and stopped, started and stopped the blog multiple times, due to business, family and other commitments but I always end up writing again because I guess, if its really a passion, somehow you’ll always find time for it.

Some of you may have heard my story by now, how I fell in love with fashion as a geeky teenager, how I believed that with the right clothes and makeup, anyone can become Cinderella – if only for a day, and that love has set the course of my life ever since. I was curious why something as fundamental as dressing ourselves - which is something we’ve been doing everyday since ... well forever, could evoke such a wide spectrum of emotion, from joy and admiration to frustration and boredom, and a hundred other different feelings in between.

Some people view fashion as trivial and the process of following trends as frivolous pursuits. The stereotype image of a fashionista is usually pretty, sexy but stupid - think Rebecca Bloomwood in "Confessions of a Shopaholic" or Cher Horowitz in "Clueless". In fact, my mum was very disappointed with me when I told her about my fashion business aspirations. I was a good student, so she had high hopes that I would become a doctor, a lawyer or a teacher and have a “stable” job, and not start my own risky fashion business, depending on the sales of clothes to make a living.

I see fashion as a fun barometer of the signs of our times. In the 1950’s, Stepford Wives fashion was all the rage because women then were mostly stay-home wives and mums. In the 1960’s it was the era of mini-skirts and shift-dresses, in the 1970’s it was hippy fashion with bell bottom trousers and flower power, in the 1980's feminism ruled championing gender equality, women were returning to the workforce and we see the rise of the power suits and the heavily padded shoulders.

In each era, fashion reflects the current sentiments of the times, hence when we look back on hindsight and see ourselves dressed in a certain way, we can more or less ascertain that season of our lives. I can’t think of any other industry that showcases our memories so visually. We dress to express ourselves and we dress in a way that shows us relevant in our times. Therefore, fashion is both the trendsetter and the scrapbook for the memories. That’s one of the reasons why I’m interested in fashion, why I stay informed about the latest trends. It doesn’t mean that I subscribe to them all like a headless chicken, it simply means that I know what’s offered and I can make informed choices about what new ideas and inspirations I would like to incorporate into my wardrobe this season.

Apologies for getting carried away with the long introduction… so lets get started with the trends for Fall 2016.

Let’s start with colors:

Here are the official color suggestions for Fall 2016. I feel that the whole spectrum seems to be centred in the midtones. I guess the most wearable shades will be the blues, grey, red and green. If we want to try the taupe and dusty pink, then we’ll have to put on a little more makeup to make sure that we don’t look washed out.

Here are some color inspiration pins I lifted from Pinterest to give you more visual ideas.

In particular, I’ll like to highlight that several designers paired PINK with YELLOW, which I thought made an interesting colour combo. I’m not sure how it will pan out on Asian skin because most of us have yellow undertones already, so too much yellow will cause us to look sallow, but if you are fair skin with pink undertones, I think you’ll look fabulous in this colour combo.

In terms of fabrics, VELVET is experiencing a new revival this Fall. Many designers showcased this plush fabric in everything; from jackets, dresses, tracksuits (Juicy Couture comes to mind!) and even shoes and handbags. If you like to try this trend, I’ll suggest that you stay away from goth or anything that looks too medieval (like King Arthur and the Knights at the round table) but look for more modern and clean styles instead.

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Another trend that is popular this Fall is Ruffles. I like the fact that this year’s ruffles are not fussy detailing but rather smart placements, so that the overall feel is feminine and sexy – not a flamingo dancer in sight! Well placed ruffles can accentuate bustlines, camouflage small shoulders and create movement when we walk.

The body part that is the flavour of the season must certainly be the shoulders this Fall. Many designers showed asymmetrical styles highlighting the shoulders. Off shoulder silhouettes were also very prominent and I think this is a good trend for us, because while most of us are self conscious about our waistlines, our hips and thighs, our shoulders are game for a day in the sun! If you are adventurous, why not try an elasticated off shoulder piece, because with the elastic, you would probably be able to do off shoulders, one shoulder and on shoulders looks too (if the armholes allow). That way, you get to maximise your style mileage too!

Of course there are many other trends on the runway – maybe I’ll do a separate blogpost to talk about accessories, shoes and bags, but in this post I’ve selected the ones I feel are the most wearable for our climate. I mean, statement fur coats and puffer jackets with evening gowns, patent leather trench coats are not really my thing – but yes, they are on trend too!

At the end of the day, fashion is supposed to be fun, and style is all about self expression. We have full license to pick and choose whatever trends that resonate with us, to include these new ideas into our own wardrobes so that our personal style journey stays fresh and relevant.

Which of these trends would you like to try? Or, if you’re already rocking the new trends, take a selfie and post it on Instagram #theAZWardrobe - we’ll love to hear from you! 

Till next week, be open, have fun, and give me your comments below.