Autumn Fashion With Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing

Seattleite gets the 411 straight from the guru on the hottest trends this season.

Fashion is going back in time this fall. Whether it be lady-like touches a la the ‘50s, hippie influences of the ‘70s, or leather circa the ‘80s — what’s old is new again! And we all know that’s good news in this economy. We chatted with Ken Downing, fashion director at Neiman Marcus, for the lowdown on all the leading looks.

Seattleite: What are the hottest trends this Fall that have the most staying power for winter?

Ken Downing:

  • Bordeux – Wear rich, saturated shades of red from deep to bright notes.
  • Lady Chic – It’s all about polished elegance and a return to sophistication.
  • The Pump — Complete the look of the season head to pointed toe!
  • Handheld Handbags — Structured bags play perfect with the ladylike lowliness for Fall 2011. Carry the handheld handbag from the top handle or from the top of the bag like a clutch.
  • Fur – It can be a statement piece or even just a touch.
  • Leather — Leather sportswear separates add a sexy attitude to the Ladylike polish of the season. A leather skirt or dress are a necessity!
  • Bold Gold — Go bold or go home! Colorful gem stones set in gold speak to the love of saturated shades.
  • Shimmer — This fall is all about low velocity sheen, not a high-octane bling.
  • Colorblocking — Contrasting and considered color placement is the simple solution to achieving the perfect balance when colorblocking.

S: Colorblocking was also a big trend this spring and summer with plenty of vibrant colors. How will the palette change for Fall?

KD: Colorblocking loves neutrals; black, white, camel and navy all play well together and look super chic!

S: A lot of designers incorporated fur into their Fall 2011 runway looks. What’s the best way to wear fur for everyday?

KD: Look for faux fur on vests and outerwear. You can also find peeks of fur on various trims.

S: I love that ‘70s style is back. But how can a Seattleite wear these trends without looking like a hippie wannabe?

KD: Rachel Zoe is the master of this look. She nails ‘70s swagger while still keeping it glamorous.

S: If someone can only purchase three items this season, what should they be?

KD: Definitely the pump, a lady-like handbag and any bold gold accessories.

S: It’s inevitable in Seattle — the rain will be back in full force soon. What are some ways to stay dry while staying stylish?

KD: Pick outerwear in a deeply saturated color — bordeaux or anything in that range will keep you feeling polish.