Fall 09 Fashion Trends

Generally speaking, we try to present balanced coverage on WhoWhatWear.com. By that, we don't mean that we give all celebrities and designers equal exposure-clearly, there's a point of view at work here-but we do strive for a certain accessibility in our stories. Typically there's equilibrium: for every impossible-to-wear piece we mention, we'll find a more forgiving one, and for every madly expensive item, we'll suggest an affordable substitute. But twice a year we chuck all that fairness and just go for full-throttle fantasy. Today, dear readers, that biannual moment has arrived again, and we're overjoyed to present our seasonal style preview! We hope you enjoy our edit of some of the boldest and best runway looks in Look Forward To: Fall Fashion Trends!Platform Pumps
Though we definitely love the brazen statement of the thigh-high boot (more on that in a moment), we're also crazy about the new wave of platform pumps. Some of our favourites thus far include Yves Saint Laurent's Imperiale Pumpsicon ($795), as seen on the runway above, and Nicholas Kirkwood's Python Web Suede Sandals ($1800). Hopefully this isn't wishful thinking, but we have a feeling there will be some amazing high-street versions of these pronounced platforms shortly!
Images from left: Nicholas Kirkwood, Yves Saint Laurent

Razzle-Dazzle Legs
Tights are always a major component in our autumnal outfits, but this season we're going to take our opaques to the next level and try an embellished, textured, ornate pair. Look to Cynthia Rowley for some of the season's best examples; we're obsessed with her Embellished Tights ($250), which will be available on her site the first week of September. All in all, it's the perfect way to upgrade some of your more basic pieces for a relatively minimal investment.
Images from left: Emanuel Ungaro, Cynthia Rowley, Miu Miu

Chunky Chokers
Cascading chains captivated us last year, but this time around the statement necklace has gotten shorter and turned into the chunky choker. Whether said piece involves metal rings, bold beads, or sparkly rhinestones, this is definitely a trend to start wearing now.
Images clockwise from left: Louis Vuitton, Bottega Venetta, Giorgio Armani

Lingerie Display
The neckline of the moment isn't for the faint, as it plunges nearly to the waist and turns the spotlight on your lingerie! That said, we loved the unabashedly revealing look of a peek-a-boo lace bandeau at Balenciaga and the simple neutral triangle bras at Miu Miu. Note to self: start stocking up on those beautiful bralettes and bandeaus now...
Images from left: Stella McCartney, Miu Miu, Balenciaga

Winter Shorts
While we've waffled about the whole tights-with-shorts combo, it's indisputably a full-blown trend these days. The good news is this key piece comes in an assortment of fabrics-from wool to leather to lamé-so finding the right pair shouldn't be hard. Daring readers will flip for the Leather Hot Pants ($650) at 3.1 Phillip Lim, which looked amazing over burgundy opaque tights, while more conservative dressers might like Proenza Schouler's salt-and-pepper Tailored Wool Suiting Shortsicon ($780).
Images from left: Proenza Schouler, Emporio Armani, 3.1 Phillip Lim

Sculpted Shoulders
The power shoulder continues to dominate this season, which is no surprise really, especially considering how influential the eighties are right now! Early proponents of this look (Givenchy, Balmain) are still endorsing the silhouette, though fall's look is more refined than previous iterations. This time around, try jackets and dresses that have a subtler sculpted shoulder-it's a more wearable look anyways!
Images clockwise from upper left: Givenchy, Balmain, Jonathan Saunders

Slouchy Overcoats
There were gorgeous jackets galore on the fall runways, but when the weather starts to cool down, there's only one piece you're going to want: the slouchy overcoat. This oversized item is a must-buy investment piece with a bit of a menswear-meets-dressing-gown attitude (so very Lloyd Dobler). If that doesn't make sense, just look to the unstructured styles from Chloe and Louis Vuitton to get the right vibe.
Images clockwise from upper left: Chloe, MaxMara, Burberry Prorsum

Thigh-High Boots
In addition to the more ladylike platform pump, the thigh-high boot is still going strong for fall. The shape can be either super skinny (à la Rodarte and Isabel Marant) or relaxed and easy (per Etro and Dries Van Noten); obviously the latter is a little more forgiving. There are lots of covetable designer pairs in stores already, like Brian Atwood's Suede Thigh-Highs ($1235) or Costume National's Over-The-Knee Bootsicon ($1455), so if you're going to invest, you probably should take the plunge soon.
Images from left: Rodarte, Pucci, Louis Vuitton

Long-Sleeve Mini Dress
If you're going to buy one dress this season, make it a mini with long sleeves. Whether it's sequin-emblazoned, detailed with zippers and studs, or simply asymmetrical, this style is having a major moment right now. Alexander Wang's fall collection contains a number of excellent examples, like the Slim Grommet Dress ($550) and Long Sleeve Goddess Dress ($590), that are sure to be a big hit with the downtown crowd.
Images from left: Gucci, Charlotte Ronson, Phi

Metallic Mix-Ups
The fall runways were stuffed with lamé looks and outfits made from metallic materials (it's a serious shine-fest out there). While we're not shying away from the glitz, it's best to mix these theatrical fabrics with more sober matte pieces. We'll look to the styling at shows like Isabel Marant and Dries Van Noten for guidance on how to incorporate these shimmery pieces in a wearable way.
Images from left: Isabel Marant, Etro, Dries Van Noten

Runway images from firstVIEW.