It’s a yearly adrenaline rush. As much as I hate to see the end of summer barbecues and beach days, the anticipation of fall gives me a jolt of excitement that rivals any 4th of July fireworks display. That’s right, although I’ll miss the flirty sundresses and flip-flop friendly days of summer, they’re no competition for the rich hues and weighty fabrics of fall designer fashions. After all, there’s a reason why the September issue is the centerpiece publication for every fashion magazine. This is the time when fashion is at its finest. So, while my male cohorts are enjoying a little friendly competition in their fantasy football leagues, I thought, “Why not partake in a seasonable sport of my own with some fantasy shopping?” So, armed with a $10,000 budget but limitless enthusiasm, I set out on a fantasy designer fashion shopping spree to three of my favorite fashion retailers: Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Barney's. First stop: Neiman’s!
As I walk into what can only be described as high fashion nirvana, I can’t help but think, “What better way to welcome the cooler temperatures than with a spectacular coat?” And the selection at Neiman Marcus is positively lustworthy! With so many lavish fabrics and designer styles to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one. However, it is Armani, one of the most prestigious names in fashion, who tops my most-wanted list this year with the super-chic winter wool coat shown below.
Made in Italy of angora, wool and cashmere, this designer coat from Neiman Marcus’ Armani Collezioni collection, features an ultra-feminine a-line skirt, slit pockets and a removable rabbit fur collar. My fave element though is the oh-so-chic waist-defining belt. For a stunning investment piece like this, I’ll happily pay the $3,315 pricetag. It is fantasy money after all! ;-)
Whew – that was a pretty big chunk of change, worth every penny of course! Still, I don’t want to get carried away. If I want my stay in fantasy land to extend beyond five minutes, my next item should be a bit more budget-friendly. Oooh – I’ve found the perfect pick in the form of one of this season’s must-haves: the vest. I love the casual, slightly structured version from La Rok shown below
I would wear this buttoned or open with my fave skinny jeans. And the sequined tank looks fabulous with it! Metallics are so hot right now. This would make a great Saturday night look -- I should really pick the tank up too. Wait a minute – the tank is attached?! This is almost too good to be true. At $278, this vest-tank combo is definitely a stylish steal. Sold!
Okay, since life isn’t all play, I should probably find something for the office. Time to look for some suiting! I have to confess, I’m a “suitaholic.” An impeccably tailored business suit gives me an instant confidence boost like no other item can. And this fall’s geometric silhouettes are more exciting than ever. My ultimate pick though is the structured couture jacket by Aquilano Rimondi shown below.
In a season that’s all about the bold shoulder, Rimondi serves up an unexpected chic with voluminous three-quarter sleeves and detailed folded cuffs. Made in Italy, this Black wool designer jacket features a notched collar, hidden front closure and front slit pockets. At $1,555, it’s going to put a dent in my pocketbook, but that’s a-okay with me. I love it!!
I’m not usually one to veer far from my fashion comfort zone. However, I’m in the rare mood for a little risk-taking today, so I think I’ll check out a trend that’s been at the top of every must-have list for fall. That’s right my fellow fashionistas – I’m going to open my mind (and my wallet) to leggings! Looking at the diverse selection, it’s clear that the designer versions of today are much more sophisticated than the ones that I remember from the 80s. I see all kinds of uber-chic styles in leather, snakeskin and even lace, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to take that much of a fashion plunge. (Maybe next year!) Instead, I’ll go for the luxe comfort of Donna Karen’s cashmere version shown here.
Although they’re also available in Light Grey, I’ll opt for classic Black. At $495, they may not be the most budget-conscious interpretation of the trend, but I’ll bet that they’re the most comfortable. After all, they’re a combination of two of my favorite things: cashmere and stretch! Plus, who knows more about fit and flattery than Donna Karen? I’ll trust her designs every time!
Uh-oh. I’ve already spent half my budget and I’ve only been in one store! Okay, time to head to Bergies. As hard as it is to pull myself away from Neiman Marcus, I know that the fashionable finds at BG will be just as enticing!
My first stop at Bergies is the cocktail and evening section. I have a few dinner parties coming up, and I’d love to treat myself to something new that’s sophisticated without being too formal. Wow – that didn’t take long. One look at Heidi Weisel’s off-the-shoulder sweater and silk crepe pant ensemble below and I’m sold. The flowing Black silk pants are the
epitome of modern elegance. But it’s the pure silk chiffon lining that gives them major strut appeal. Paired with the off-the-shoulder cashmere and nylon fitted sweater, this perfectly put-together look is both sleek and slightly seductive. I also love the ease and versatility of separates. I’ll definitely wear the sweater with other pants and jeans. The fitted shape will contrast beautifully with a slouchy bottom to create a sharp silhouette. At $1265 for the pant and $585 for the sweater, they may not be the most cost-effective choices, but they’re just too tempting to resist. I can’t wait to wear them!
The next item for my shopping bag is destined to be one of my go-to pieces this season. Just one look at Autumn Cashmere’s Dark Grey cashmere hoodie shown below and I know that I’ll want to live in it!
I love the fact that the cowl collar can also be worn as a hood. And what could be more inviting on a cold winter day than the comfort of being draped in sumptuous cashmere? At $396, this is definitely a must-have!
Yikes! My budget is dwindling and I haven’t even looked at shoes yet! Time to hit Barneys New York for some fabulous footwear before the best finds of the season are gone.
Since my apparel choices haven’t been overly wild, I think I’ll release my inner diva through footwear. And my first choice is definitely a scene-stealer. The shoe bootie is one of the hottest items this season, and Christian Louboutin kicks up the style quotient with the black lace platform shown below
The Clic Clac Black bootie gets its “wow!” factor from sultry lace detailing and a 4’ 7/10” platform heel that is truly runway-worthy. This attention-grabber is made all the more interesting by the juxtaposition of the black lace, a nighttime staple, against suede, a material traditionally reserved for daytime looks. I also love the added embellishment of the button and loop closure and, of course, the signature Loubouton Red leather sole. Made in Italy, this statement bootie is $1,045. I can’t wait to wear this designer shoe. It will bring instant chic to any outfit!
Also from Christian Loubouton, the Josefa sandal shown below manages to encompass three huge trends – the peep-toe, platforms and metallics – without looking over-the-top. The suede-covered platform is an elegant show-stopper with its metallic leather criss-cross detailing. Although I love the dramatic contrast of Black and Gold, I also covet this showstopper in its two other incarnations: Pewter and Nude. At $1,025 a pair though, I can only afford one. So, in the interest of making a dramatic entrance (and exit!), the Black and Gold it is!
Oh no. I only have $41 dollars left and I feel like I’m just getting started! I suppose I could hit the sale sections and try to find a fun knock-off of one of the season’s must-have accessories like an oversize cocktail ring. On second thought, maybe I’ll save the balance for my next fantasy shopping spree. I could definitely put it toward any number of designer finds. Now if only my fantasy money were accepted at Neiman’s, Bergies and Barney’s. (Sigh) Still, real or not, I’ve had a blast. The guys may not agree, but I think this beats fantasy football any day! :-)