Fall 2006's Ready to Wear Runway Hits: The Six Simple Trends and Tricks to Update Your Look This Season

This upcoming season's runway is perfectly adaptable to everyone, especially to the New England fashion-conscious student in me. For the overwhelmed (the ones who read their five hundred and sixty pages of Vogue and do not remember at least half of the fads they read), this is my gift to you: a cheat sheet version to help you looking like a fashion maven by the time the leaves start falling.

Designers have assembled many flattering styles to choose, from Gothic Victorian with a punk attitude (Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior), School Girl Chic with youthful jumpers (Luella, Alice Roi), to Sophisticated Grunge with copious layers (Marc Jacobs).

Some who are still attached to their H&M striped tops, there is no need to fret. Summer trends, such as the nautical striped tee, white baby doll dresses, and skin tight leggings are still easily adjustable for the cold weather seasons.

Listed below are six simple trends and tricks to simplify your life. Of course, we all need some helpful pointers when there are more important things, such as those last minute papers and conference meetings.

1. Back in Black

From a romantic touch to a sleek look, black this season is anything but grim. It duo Proenza Schouler and the acclaimed Karl Lagerfeld dressed their models in head to toe black. The universally flattering color showed up in lace, patent leather, fur, and denim. It's about time you embrace this slimming hue and make it your own.

For a unique twist, try adding colorful accessories to the already dark palette. A jewel-toned belt worn high on the waist or some cute striped arm warmers from Marc by Marc Jacobs can add personal touches. Another easier tip is to add unexpected red heels to the outfit. Lanvin did so and it definitely added a pop of color to the sea of black.

2. School Charm

After a long summer vacation, I am heading back to school with this trend high on my back-to-school shopping list. The runways were teeming with sweet girl looks, perfect for the preppy student or any girl, for that matter. Anna Sui had charming Peter-Pan collars, bold colored tights, and short baby doll dresses.

Here's a suggestion: mini dresses can be paired with tights, platform Mary Janes, and a Sgt. Pepper military jacket on chilly days. Also, colored tights can be paired with everything this fall!  They are especially cute underneath skirts, dresses, and long tunics.

Luella's collection will make every girl feel like the popular girl in school. The Brit designer busted out with sassy plaid jumpers, shrunken cardigans, and bow ties. How about purchasing a jumper for this fall? It can be worn in the office with a turtleneck and pumps for a sophisticated look and go straight to an evening look when worn with a metallic bag and sex-kitten stilettos. It's safe to say that the Catholic school girl in you will happily embrace this look.

3. Leopard, Plaid, and Dots. Oh My!

Fall designers are not straying away from prints, but in fact, incorporating a printed piece into every outfit. Alexander McQueen and Diane von Furstenberg, both known for their audacity, had no pattern shame in their vibrant collections.

McQueen had tartan kilt-like skirts parade down the runway, homage to his Scottish family roots. DVF mixed floral print tops, hounds tooth coats, and polka-dotted skirts into her collection. Also, designer Dries van Noten dressed up supermodel Gemma Ward in a leopard print coat with a floral brocade skirt.

Combining prints and playing with textures can look chic and playful at the same time. Try a floral skirt and striped print together for a modern look. Mixing tweed with brocade can also look refined. The key is to play with a maximum of three different prints to look tres chic.

4. Smells Like Teen Spirit

Layering your clothing during 60 degree weather isn't exactly necessary in sunny Los Angeles. Nonetheless, when it's anything less than 60 degrees here, we call it freezing. Good things these designers prepared us for the chilly weather.

Marc Jacobs, now creative director for Louis Vuitton and head of his eponymous line brought back his notorious grunge look from the early 90's (the collection that got him fired from Perry Ellis). Baggy knits, wide leg menswear trousers, and cropped jackets were worn in layers a le Mary Kate Olsen.

Here's a tip: To avoid looking puffy, try C&C California's flimsy pieces to layer over and under your clothes.

5. Skin Tight

Remember those early school days when you donned the leggings and the oversized tee scrunched at the side? Missoni and Derek Lam will bring you back to those times with their Flashdance inspired collections.

Models sashayed down the runway in black and grey leggings, paired with flirty tunics, voluminous dresses and classy coats.

You can accompany them with flats for casual days or with t-strap heels for a party night out. For cute and affordable leggings, American Apparel caters a variety of shades, so take your pick.

Super skinny jeans were also seen in the fashion scene, so don't chuck those tapered denim in the back of the closet just yet. Behnaz Sarafpour made an embellished statement and Jill Stuart kept her jeans jet-black.

A cheaper alternative to the expensive runway denim is the new J Brand cigarette jean that will strangle your ankles (just the way we like them). Of course, I wouldn't have them any other way.

6. L.C.J. (the Little Cropped Jacket)

This season's must-have for every wardrobe is the L.C.J. Dsquared², Marni, and Marc by Marc Jacobs had boxy and cape-like coats that were the cream of the cropped during fashion week. In denim, leather, fur or metallic, these jackets can be worn anytime, from a casual to a black-tie affair.

Not sure what to wear with your L.C.J? Try adding a pair of stove pipe jeans with ankle boots or flats. How about wearing a high collared ruffle blouse underneath? Make this cropped jacket a closet staple alongside your L.B.D. (Little Black Dress). The short end of this (no pun intended) is to keep it eber cool and effortless.

Now that the fashion shows are finished, next fall's trends are official. Dark hues ruled and bold bright colors made the occasional appearance. Designers accessorized their collections with knit hats, leg warmers, and elbow length gloves that will sure to keep you toasty. My sweet picks listed here will tickle your fancy as you start your annual back-to-school shopping ritual or any shopping excursion. So spend the extra five minutes each morning to glam up your outfit accordingly.

Photographs courtesy of style.com

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