I have been promising you this reportage about the Fall trends for a while, and I do not think I can wait any longer to deliver it. After the fashion "self-help" I have been offering in my earlier posts, which I hope will guide you, let's get down to it!
The average woman is not a fashion editor and does not attend fashion shows -- and this is even more true for moms. It follows that we are necessarily dependent on others to tell us what's trendy from one season to the other. For me, this advice comes through magazines and fashion newsletters that I get delivered in my Inbox mainly from Neiman Marcus, net-a-porter, mytheresa, and Holt Renfrew. Surprised that there are no Italian names in this list? Well, it is because there are no Italian equivalents. There are no big department stores in Italy, and even those that are there will not approach their customers in such a way. Indeed even the only Canadian name in the list above (Holt Renfrew) does not stand the comparison with the American ones. To sum it up, my sources of most immediate fashion information (e-newsletters) are skewed towards the US.
It will not come as a surprise to you if I say that the Us market strongly influences the Canadian and European markets. Canadian stores, for instance, have aligned their sales periods to those in the US (especially pre-Chistmas sales). Holt Renfrew in Montreal has a large selection of American emerging designers. Italians love American things (for historical reasons rooted in the American liberation at the end of the Second World War), and Italian women are a bit obsessed by American designers. The newest and hippest department store that opened in Milan a few weeks ago, the Excelsior, has dedicated a floor and a half to American designers such as Theory, Rag&Bone, and Phillip Lim. Yet shopping at the Excelsior for these designers (which I did last week) feels like going to a small and under-stocked Saks. I believe it is because this section of the Excelsior caters to younger women. You would never see a middle-aged women wearing Alexander Wang, as one may in Canada. Italian women overwhelmingly shop in the other downtown department store, La Rinascente, which has a more traditional offer of Fendi, Armani and the like -- as well as the occasional Mulberry bag. In addition, shopping at a department store is not the typical way of shopping for Italian women. This rather involves going to local stores, where the shop attendants know them by name.
My mom says that I have gotten "americanized", and she does not mean it as a compliment. It is true I could not live without Phillip Lim, David Meister, Theory, and Sigerson Morrison. But, to contradict my mother (which is something I always enjoy doing), what I look for is more inspired by the sleek minimalism of Celine and the classicism of Max Mara. My take on the Fall trends reflects, I think, this ambivalence.