If you live in the US like me, and are taking a trip to Europe after the summer days die down, you can seamlessly travel across the sea in the latest style by wearing pleats. No they aren’t just for school girls this fall! Many American and European fashion designs are embodying what I call “powerful femininity.” They’re emphasizing elements of architectural sophistication while adding girly flair. This is done in some fall lines by incorporating pleats—from subtle to pronounced.
Take the Spanish designer Amaya Arzuaga. Her fall collection, shown at the Paris Fashion Week, is inspired by mathematics. She uses shapes ranging from linear to curved pleats—often in the same garment. The combination of stark lines with curves says, “I can be both kick-ass and cutesy all at once!” Other European brands, like France’s Derhy and Givenchy, also feature pleats for fall.
Likewise, American designer Vera Wang focuses on pleats in her fall collection. Jonathan Simkhai, a New York designer whose brand is self-described as bringing “forth classic codes translated into sexy and feminine silhouettes” also has pleated items for fall. Notably, Milly designer Michelle Smith has followed suit. She received her training in New York and Paris—mixing the best of both fashion hubs.
No matter what your budget is, you can look ravishingly stylish. LA-based StyleSpot.com shows celebrity outfits with links to places where you can purchase more reasonably-priced look-alikes. If you want to go econo, there are always knockoff outfits at outlets like the American company Forever 21 and the Swedish H&M. Who says you can’t be star-studded without maxing out your credit card?
To see how easy it is to double dip an outfit—wear it at home and overseas—while being trendy in both places, here is a picture of me wearing a Calvin Klein dress from the American fall line next to a model wearing a Derhy dress from the French fall collection. Although the French dress is fuller and made from softer, more flowing fabric, both garments have diagonal pleats beginning at the right shoulder and going toward the left hip, and more pleats starting underneath the bodice seam. They also each have one accent piece. The French dress has a decorative bow, and the American frock has a decorative gold zipper on the left shoulder. I got this Calvin Klein at a discount during a 2011 fall presale. Such sales can help you save on your new look. Then you can show off your powerful femininity regardless of whether you stay at home or travel abroad. According to MillionLooks, a cutting-edge fashion site, pleats will be hot not only for fall, but for winter…so this one wardrobe tip can make you a style queen until spring!