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Transition to the new fashion season right now

By Samantha Critchell
Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
 

The most influential runways have had their say for next spring, but there's no need to wait for stores to stock up on cut-outs, lightweight leather, sleeveless jackets and shorts suits. There's a way to capture “fashion next” right now: with your lipstick, hair and handbag.

The themes in many of the collections were strength and toughness, and more than a hint of sexiness, which can be achieved in ways adaptable to many ages and lifestyles.

Tweaking your makeup routine is more about how you wear the products than a change in products themselves, says Linda Wells, editor in chief of Allure. This season, the overall look was relatable to the everywoman — save the patent-leather eye candy at Fendi. It included red matte lips, red lacquered nails and a low ponytail.

“You can adopt new trends right away, but you're not going to look ‘out of season,'” she says. “It's not like you're starting to wear crisp white dresses in November or sandals in the winter.”

Transition is underrated, adds makeup artist Bobbi Brown, who has how-to tips in her new book “Pretty Powerful.” Take the time to move from one trend to another with an evolution in your look instead of a jarring change. “I've always held the philosophy that trends shouldn't be stuff that you have for a few months and get rid of.”

Who can argue with flawless skin, full, red lips and slightly tousled hair?

“I like that it all seems a little undone but not fussy,” says hairstylist Oscar Blandi, who saw flashes of Brigitte Bardot on the catwalk. “It's a little raw and very beautiful.”

The clothes exuded so much confidence that Blandi found balance with more natural-looking hair and makeup.

Shoes and purses also are “early adopters” of trends, largely because affordable versions of what's on the runway are widely available. Expect extreme gladiator styles and hardware at a store near you.

“All the clothes with leather harnesses are hard for real women to afford and to wear, so the bondage movement hit the feet, and the shoes were sexier than ever,” fashion commentator Mary Alice Stephenson says.

There also was a lot of brightly colored leather, which is a continuation of one of this season's most popular looks. Don't bother with black or brown bags.

But there was a learning curve with the clutch bag, a hot item for a while, says Dana Rotkiewicz, vice president of sales and marketing for Kooba. “We saw a lot of oversized and document clutches on the runway, and, really, bigger clutches. We've learned not everything fits in the cute little ones.”

Other tips to bring spring runway style to your fall closet:

• Consider clutches that also have a removable longer-length shoulder strap. It's crisp and clean without it, but add the strap and you capture a softer, retro vibe that's likely to move forward through next year. “I think the hard-edge bags are winding down,” Rotkiewicz says.

• The good news about the “power-trip” shoes is that while they amp up sex appeal, they are “not stilettos on steroids,” says Stephenson. A lower, kitten heel actually help tame what otherwise would be too severe a look.

• Seemingly flawless and perfect skin is as easy as finding a good moisturizer, maybe one with a slightly yellow tint, and an effective concealer so you don't look tired, says Brown, who did the makeup for the Holmes & Yang and Rachel Roy presentations, among others. “The skin isn't flat and it's not dewy — it's just perfect,” she says.

• What seemed really new was cobalt-blue eyeliner, and “it's not the mild navy that you're not sure if it's blue or black,” Wells says. “It's a little startling but it is good looking.”

• Overdraw matte lipstick just a little bit, extending the lip line, suggests Wells. Red is actually easy to work with because you can really see the lines, she adds. Be mindful, though, that with such a bold mouth, the eyes should be neutral, with little or no color.

• If bright red lipstick seems too much, try it in a lip gloss. “It's OK to look normal and not like you're trying too hard.”

• Wells is a fan of the “gym hair that looks like you're about to wash your face or jump on the treadmill.” It's a fresh contrast with the “very fine clothes.” Of course, it can take a lot of effort to look casual, she says, and shiny, healthy hair is a must.

Samantha Critchell is a fashion writer for the Associated Press.

 

 
 


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