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February 27, 2015

Eight Denim Trends for 2015

In addition to scouting spring summer 2016 fashion trends at MAGIC Market Week, I also had a chance to visit the Aztex Denim Trend gallery in the Sourcing area. This is where fabric mills, fiber companies, and garment manufacturers present the latest and greatest in the denim category. Given the ubiquity of regular blue jeans in our modern lives, I found it refreshing to see such a wide variety of finishes, textures, and prints. Clearly, denim has dramatically evolved from the basic blue jeans of previous decades. 

If you love denim, then I hope you'll find inspiration in this post. Fortunately, they had quite a few samples on display in the Aztex gallery. The boards were organized into the following trend categories: printed denim, nature-inspired denim, colored denim, metallic foil denim, embellished denim, lace denim, acid washed, and leather appliqués. Here's a closer look at each trend.

2015 printed denim trend

Shop printed denim:

2015 nature inspired denim trend forecast

2015 colored denim trend

Shop colored denim:

2015 metallic foil denim trend forecast

Shop coated jeans:

2015 embellished denim trend

2015 lace denim trend forecast

2015 acid washed denim trend

Shop acid washed denim:

2015 leather appliques denim trend forecast

Catch up with me on Facebook for more fashion trend reports, and see more forecasting photos on my Pinterest

See more denim trends:

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February 24, 2015

How To Wear Culottes - Five Tips

The mere mention of the word culottes may spark trepidation in the hearts and minds of even the most trend-forward fashionistas. Are they pants or are they shorts? Due to their voluminous shape, they sometimes even look like a skirt. 

For me, culottes conjure images of my stylish hippie mother in vintage photos from the 1970s. I vividly recall her long, center-parted auburn hair, her feet adorned with brown leather platform clogs, and her look punctuated by a diaphanous knit top tucked into statement-making culottes. Those were the '70s, after all!

These days, the look is more modern than flower child, especially when styled with moto jackets, fluid blazers, simple knit tops, and chic pumps as seen below.

How To Wear Culottes, spring 2015 culottes trend, culottes street style

Photos via Pinterest

Let's be honest. The full-leg silhouette and midi length of culottes isn't the easiest to pull off, but with a few styling tips, they can be just as flattering as your favorite skirt or slim-leg trousers. Just think of culottes as a midi skirt or cropped trouser, and follow these five guidelines:

Do consider length. Just like with a skirt, avoid any style that hits at the widest part of the calf. This highlights that part of the leg and can visually shorten the legs. Instead, opt for lengths that hit just below the knee or just above the ankle for a more flattering look.

Don't ignore proportions. Since culottes are wide-leg silhouettes, you'll want to wear a tailored or fitted top to show off your waist and keep proportions in balance. My mantra is that wide shapes on bottom equals fitted shapes on top.

Do slip on your high heels. The shorter you are and the longer the culottes are, the higher those heels should be to lengthen your legs. (Since I'm petite, I live by this rule.) Taller women can get away with low heels and flats (consider me jealous). What shoes to wear? This season, I'd opt for trendy clogs (love these), stacked-heel boots (Rag & Bone's boots are comfy), walkable platform wedges, or sleek pumps. Petite ladies, remember that ankle straps can shorten the legs as well, so opt for thin straps or skin-tone footwear to create the illusion of longer legs.

Don't be afraid to go high-waisted. A high-waist style makes the legs look longer, and when paired with a crop top, this can be especially flattering. No need to bare your midriff if you don't want to, just tuck your top in like the ladies above (or add a belt) to show off the waist.

Do consider print. If you're brave, style printed culottes (like these) with a solid top, structured blazer, or fitted knit. Remember that bigger prints make you appear bigger, and are easier for taller women to pull off. If you're more timid when it comes to prints, try a pair in chic black (like these) or your favorite neutral, and style them with a blouse or top that makes you feel stylish and confident. This faux leather version is on my radar and this style under $25 is great for the office.

Shop my favorite culottes:

Wear your culottes with:

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February 21, 2015

Spring Summer 2016 Fashion Trend Forecast

Another season of MAGIC Market Week has come and gone, and with it comes an abundance of fashion trends, photos, brand discoveries, and seminars. The highlight for me is always catching up with New York-based trend forecasting firm Fashion Snoops. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter @thekeytochic, then you might've already seen some trend reports and sneak peeks, especially of my favorite footwear discoveries at the trade shows. Don't miss on over to like my Facebook page, where you'll have access to exclusive trend info, retail reports, fashion inspiration, and blog post previews.

Let's talk about trends! For spring/summer 2016, Fashion Snoops is calling out four key womenswear trends: Alive, Gen-U, Seamless Innovation, and Global Commune. In this trend report, I'm going to share key points and photos from their trend galleries and their spring/summer '16 presentation. 

*Please note that this blog post is adapted from Fashion Snoops, is protected by copyright laws, and may not be republished without permission. Students, please feel free to use this information for school projects as long as it's not reproduced or republished online and you properly cite Fashion Snoops and The Key To Chic as sources. 

Let's get started with the first trend, Alive. It's about homegrown influences, organic textures, and a magnified approach to looking at things such plant life and cellular structures. It looks at every day as an experience that lives life to the fullest, with bright eye. It's about living life out loud. The Women's trend story for Alive is called Ophelia. It references a pre-Raphaelite painting and a Shakespeare character that lives in the rain forest. She is intertwined with nature for a tropical feeling. 

Alive fashion trend forecast spring sumer 2016

Alive fashion trend forecast spring sumer 2016

Color palettes for Alive and Ophelia are saturated with green tones. Yellows are also important, as are sunset gold and chartreuse. Olive is a base color. Vermilion (a reddish orange) is an accent color. Earthy browns and khaki finish off the earthy mix of hues.

Materials are novelty fabrics such as jacquard, reptile, leaf-like abstracts, lace, tweed-like textures (as on this dress), and chiffon. Patterns are tropical, palm repeats, Amazonian motifs, plant inspiration, veins, and microscopic. Floral embroidery, appliqués, feathers, 3-D embellishments, cutouts, and plunged necklines are important to the trend. 

Key items for Ophelia are: the camisole (see this 3-D version), oversized blouse, asymmetrical skirt with ruffle, culottes, wide-leg bottoms, palazzo pants, robe coats (perfect example in blue), trapeze shaped maxi dresses, and shift dresses. The print on this crop top and on this tube skirt are great examples of the trend.

Accessories include the leaf clutch, wedge sandals with fur or feather trim, and the bucket hat.

Retailers and brands to browse for examples of Alive/Ophelia include: net-a-porter, Free People, Threadsence, Johnny Was, Barneys, and Anthropologie

See examples of Alive/Ophelia:

The next trend, Gen-U speaks to the younger, Junior's market. It's about the bold, creative, urban spirit, and creating your own destiny with a digital undercurrent. The Women's trend is called Candy Raver, and it's inspired by EDM (electronic dance music), with an electric, shiny look and an athletic, futuristic slant. Think shiny surfaces and nightclub-worthy, attention-grabbing finishes.

Gen-U fashion trend forecast spring summer 2016

Gen-U fashion trend forecast spring summer 2016

Colors are lively lemon yellow, candy apple red, deep magenta, melon pink, orchid purple, periwinkle, and aqua.  

Materials are holographic, PVC, bonded fleece, distressed jersey, technical mesh.

Patterns have vibrant colors, blurring/glitchy motifs (as on this top), 8-bit graphics, cotton candy pastels.

Details are utility: hoods, zippered front, pockets, and buckles. Rounded shaped silhouettes and paillettes are key.

Key items are: cropped silhouettes, the cropped boxy woven tee, fitted midriff tee, the wrap mini skirt, basketball shorts, jogger bottoms, the boxy elongated tee, the parka, and the bomber jacket (see many bomber jacket examples here).

The best retailers to browse for more Gen-U inspiration are Barneys, Adidas, Nasty Gal, Boohoo, Target, and Topshop.

Browse Gen-U/Candy Raver examples:

The third trend, Seamless Innovation, has activewear influences. It's about intelligent essentials, and how we wear wear technology. It embodies urban minimalism with a sport edge and purposeful design with a technical balance of utilitarian softness. The Women's trend is called Active Duty, with a utility focus and modern, timeless silhouettes. There are slight military references and an active (but not sporty) vibe. 

Seamless Innovation fashion trend forecast spring summer2016

Seamless Innovation fashion trend forecast spring summer2016

Colors are minimal and include: custard, orange rind, and seaglass/aqua as accent colors. Hazy taupe, tailored grey, olive, and navy act as base tones.

Materials are cotton twill, gabardine, army surplus, linen, nylon, mesh and silk jersey. 

Details include: zippers, suspenders, buckles, straps, shoulder cutouts and elastic waistbands. 

Key items are: the jumpsuit, wrap skirt, woven tee, trench style sleeveless coat with military reference, Bermuda shorts with an elastic waistband, wide-leg pants, the midi skirt in a slim silhouette, and parkas.

Accessories are Teva sandals (see this youthful, trendy version and this embellished statement style), buckles, slide sandals, stirrup socks, and visors.

Brands to reference for Seamless Innovation/Active Duty are Adidas, J.Crew, TopshopNasty Gal, Boohooand net-a-sporter.

See Seamless Innovation/Active Duty examples:

The final trend, Global Commune, is a personal favorite. It captures a bohemian spirit with artisanal techniques, hippie inspiration, and a 1960s free-spirited craftmanship. Saturated indigo tones, rumpled surfaces, tapestries, and a cultural, worldly aesthetic factor in. The trend's expression for women is called Commune, which is a deeper appreciation for world cultures and artisanal techniques. It applies a haberdashery approach for a unique feeling. 

Global Commune fashion trend forecast spring summer 2016

Global Commune fashion trend forecast spring summer 2016

The color palette is copper, red, and persimmon with pops of dark teal and moonstone blue, in addition to vintage indigo as a base color.

Materials are tweed, jacquard, hand loomed knits, collage effects, crochet, leather, and crepe de chine. Patterns have Art Nouveau and Japanese influences. Medallion prints (like on this pretty pillow or this chic jacket) and patchwork (see this exquisite dress) also figure into the trend. 

Details are the more the better. Fringe is important (see examples here), as are trim details, topstitching and embroidery (lots of embroidery examples here). 

Key items include: the midi sheath dress, pajama pants, the matched skirt set, oversized kimono-sleeved jacket, boxy woven tee (with rounded shoulders), polo sweater, collarless jacket, and the dirndl mid-calf skirt with full volume

Accessories are clogs (here's a personal favorite), patchwork ankle boots, the wrap belt (love this braided version), and bucket bag.

For more examples of the Global Commune trend, see Nasty GalJ.CrewAnthropologie, Johnny Was, Threadsence, and Free People.

See Global Commune/Commune examples:

*For more photos of each trend, including color samples, key items, and fabrics, head on over to my Pinterest boards. For more daily trend inspiration, retail reports, and trend info, like my Facebook page, where I'll be sharing exclusive content.

**See Fashion Snoops for trend reports, subscription services, and more fashion forecasting info.

***Want more trend forecasts? See my spring/summer 2015 fashion trend forecast or fall 2015/winter 2016 fashion trend forecast

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February 13, 2015

In the Wind

Fashion blogger The Key To Chic wears a 3.1 Phillip Lim patchwork floral blouse with LC Lauren Conrad scalloped edge shorts and Ukies Arianna pumps.

Fashion blogger The Key To Chic wears a 3.1 Phillip Lim patchwork floral blouse with LC Lauren Conrad scalloped edge shorts and Ukies Arianna pumps.

Ukies Arianna black leather pumps, Ukies Arianna heels black Nappa

3.1 Phillip Lim patchwork floral silk blouse, LC Lauren Conrad scalloped edge shorts

Fashion blogger The Key To Chic wears a 3.1 Phillip Lim patchwork floral blouse with LC Lauren Conrad scalloped edge shorts and Ukies 'Arianna' pumps.

Target earrings, 3.1 Phillip Lim patchwork floral blouse, LC Lauren Conrad at Kohl's scalloped edge shorts, 'Arianna' leather pumps c/o Ukies, and Phillip Lim for Target mini satchel (shop similar styles at Target)

When the Santa Ana winds arrive, I find myself unsure of what to wear. The gusty winds make skirts impractical, the high temperatures nix any notions I have of wearing sweaters and jackets, and the dry weather combined with static cling makes synthetic shirts out of the question. The solution? I keep it simple in comfortable pieces: a lightweight silk blouse, easy-fit shorts, and heels with enough comfort and cushioning (thanks to nanogel technology and a moisture-wicking lining) to make me forget that I'm even wearing heels. 

Not pictured? The hair tie that I keep handy for especially windy days.

Get the look:

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