ON a cloudless late-summer day, models strutted the stuff of 20 retailers to celebrate Santana Row's five-year anniversary. The hip shopping center celebrated its anniversary with an ambitious agenda of fashion shows over five days. Each of the eight shows raised money for local nonprofits and foundations, including the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center at the show I attended. Along with benefiting great community organizations, the runway featured fall's fashions for 5-year-olds on up.
This fashion show for all ages and both sexes demonstrated this year's trends from accessories to coats, from casual to chic, from restraint to ritzy. Anne Fontaine's striking black and white collection kicked off the show. Romantic ruffles, sexy tied-up tops and pops of red accessories gave the audience a high contrast commencement. Guys got to get in on the game when Indigo Palms showed casual easy printed and striped shirts all worn with denim and dusty, earthy pieces with pops of color for the ladies.
Speaking of pops of color, Furla unfurled its Italian accessories against the backdrop of black-clad models. Leather handbags were the standout, especially the rush of red and the organic orange, perfect for a high-paid executive. As mentioned previously in this column, this fall is a season for gloves, and Furla has plenty to coordinate to its bags. At Eli Thomas, the men were more tonal, earthy and dark, except for the purple windowpane jacket worn with a heliotrope-hued shirt.
Anthropologie took retro to the runway, showing its hand with creative cardigans and amusing accessories. If women dressed and accessorized as well as the models did, the world would be more full of personality and color. Orvis may be for the outdoorsy set, but their offerings might inspire even the most urbane to take to the mountains. Their men's mircotwill cognac-colored topcoat would be equally at home in the Los Gatos Hills or at the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite. Many of the women's exits blurred the lines of town and country by pairing either warm oranges or soft berry tones with black for looks that could translate to home or work.
Accessories were central to the show, and not just because there are many accessory retailers at Santana Row. The truth is that if you're not accessorizing your outfits this fall, you're just not complete. Investing in accessories that can be worn with many outfits is always the way to go. For those who are game, Donald J. Pliner combined leopard shoes with a peace belt worn overtop a jacket to create a social and style conscious look. Accessories—whether sunglasses, shoes or watches—are big and bold, shiny or chunky. Oakley's "secret agent" looks combined khaki, camouflage, a shot of color, curious bags and their sporty eyewear collection.
National brand Cole Haan showed gorgeous coats that welcome the cooler temperatures in our climate. So much of the entire show was about black with color that it was pleasant to see the importance of gray emerge during this part of the show. Local boutiques Pink Stripes and Penelope participated, too, showcasing lots of animal inspired prints and metallic gold to round out the show.
Little fashion activity happens in Silicon Valley. When it does we should rejoice about it and remember that fashion is not exclusive to our cosmopolitan neighbor to the north.
Joseph Rosenfeld, the nation's only male certified image professional, helps professional men and corporate employee groups to become more dynamic, compelling and stylish. Visit www.JRImageMentor.com for more information.
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