The Monday before New York Fashion Week, at 11am prompt, Vogue's editorial team religiously met to discuss the upcoming season. Much the impatient leader, Anna Wintour, my boss, always wanted to have access to 7th Avenue's hidden secrets before they hit the runway. As the accessories editor, my job was to report on any information I had managed to gather from frantic designers related to accessories. Were shoes round toe or pointy; platform or flat? Were bags slouchy or structured; bright colored or natural-toned? Was the upcoming season about large costume jewelry or about personal pieces? Was there a focus on the earring, the necklace, or the cuff? Were there new designers to watch, collaborations between accessories designers and fashion designers to register; any new category launches to see? (Believe it or not eyewear, hats, gloves, hosiery, and belts can often influence entire runway shows: think of the hats at Balenciaga Spring 2012).
The information I usually presented was limited and concise, as designers most often kept their lips sealed. (Ralph Lauren usually gave a one-word description of their upcoming accessories collection, such as "grown-up" or another time just the word "green". Yes, I had to make a presentation to the elite of fashion based on that one descriptive word! )
But the significance of that little glimpse of what was to come was truly magical to all of us editors. It marked a clean slate for our imaginations and creativity. It was the change of the guard into a new state of mind that would later translate in a change of the way we shopped (and advised our readers to shop) and the way we interpreted fashion. I often found myself going back to my own wardrobe the night after the pre-collection meeting looking for those pointy shoes and that slouchy bag I had just announced as upcoming trends ( the beauty of cyclical fashion). As trendsetters, change is a good thing; and the bigger the change the more excited we become.
As I gather with my small team at FinoFile, my new digital magazine, I am truly adrenalized for New York Fall 2012 shows. Although designers continue to offer little disclosure on their accessory treasures, I have a few predictions to share: I see a lot of boots for fall, lots of browns and pops of red and bright color. For shoes, pointy still prevails; but, yes, the platform remains (ladies, you can count on keeping the extra inches). The hobo bag is my favorite new shape of the season and the must have update to your wardrobe is the belt.
Watch out for great jewelry collections from Eddie Borgo, Jennifer Fisher, and Kimberly McDonald. Also keep an eye out for great shoe collections from B by Brian Atwood and Pour La Victoire. Mid price market is the new trend. Indulge!