Dress To Impress With Tips from Top Fashion Minds

If you’re wondering what’s in fashion for spring and summer in Southwest Florida, wonder no more – the following article from News-Press Coastal has the details. Weighing in are some of the top fashion minds in Southwest Florida – among them our friend and client Joseph Wendt, owner of Joseph’s Custom Clothiers!
Read original article on news-press.com

A Spectacular Season For Fashion

In fashion, some seasons are sedate, minimalistic and neutral. They laud the “less is more” mantra.
Southwest Florida’s 2012 spring and summer — and fall, which is more of the same, weatherwise, anyway — look anything but austere.
It’s seriously bright, wild and gender specific. And that goes for menswear, too.


Fashionistas gave Coastal Life a trend tutorial during the Michael Kors Fall 2012 Collection trunk show at Marissa Collections on Third Street South in Old Naples. The shop that Town & Country magazine calls a “staggeringly stylish boutique” with “signature nuanced styling” carries the clothes created by high-fashion runway designers.
Clothesracks showcase the names of Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa, Valentino, Lanvin, Hermes, Donna Karan, Alexander McQueen, Brunello Cucinelli and dozens more even an amateur fashion follower would recognize.
Lauren Wilson, assistant buyer for Marissa Collections, wore a spotty Michael Kors dress as she explained what’s hip for now, soon and later.
“This is leopard,” she said, pointing to the top of her dress and then down. “Then ocelot and tiger. It’s fun.”
Wilson said Kors took a trip to Africa and brought back a love of tie-dye, burnt sienna and amber colors, safari styles, striped and dotted furs and python skins for summer.
“I always think animal prints are flattering for some reason,” said Joan Hilferty, visiting from Philadelphia. “It looks great on everyone.”
Professional model Eva Udon paraded the boutique in a Kors zebra pencil skirt at midi-length with a safari-inspired button-down blouse in ivory, a look combining professionalism, fun and a taste of tropical heat.
“I think women of any age could wear this,” Udon said.
Her stylists accessorized one of her outfits with Luna’s Lucifer vir Hornestus line of rose-gold jewelry. Luna is the first medieval jewelry designer on record in Milan, Wilson said.
“It’s very edgy and fun,” she said.
Accessories are extremely important, said Marissa Collections store manager Maryann Scandiffio.
“Lately, ladies will buy a basic outfit and make their accessories really stand out,” Scandiffio said. “If they’re a banker or executive, through their jewelry and shoes they can show their panache.”
Trendsetters are throwing a lot of standby rules out the window. Mixing metals is not a faux pas; it’s encouraged. LBD no longer stands for Little Black Dress; it’s the Little Bright Dress.
High-voltage hues are everywhere: in skinny jeans and slim trousers, dresses, purses, shoes, belts and nail polish. Tangerine is making a splash in tops, purses and shoes.
If you can’t bear to wear traffic-stopping color, pick among a palette of soft pastels. Powdery blue, mint green and lilac suit the feminine fashions, old-school style. Try a pastel pleated skirt, jean or gingham shirt.
“I love all the colors,” said Karen Krigstein as she shopped at Marissa Collections. “I’m tired of all neutrals.”
Cinch the waist with three thin, bright belts to emphasize your womanly shape, slip into some platform heels or multimedia wedges and you’ve got yourself an in-season silhouette.
Spice up a sensible, solid-colored wardrobe with prints that are going global, especially African tribal and South American ikat, according to Saks Fifth Avenue’s style catalogs. Color-blocking is still all the rage, but in new ways, combining icy pastels, loud brights and reptilian skins — not just on clothes, but in purses and shoes.
Women can accessorize with lightweight scarves tied in ladylike bows and knots, circa 1950s. If the flirty, ultra-feminine look isn’t your style, designers are incorporating sportswear fabrics and cuts in dressier ways, and the more androgynous 1920s flapper, Art Deco feel.
Opposites attract in fashion, too.
“Rich herringbones and tweeds: Michael was all about rugged elegance on the runway,” said Keira Mahoney, a Michael Kors representative and account manager for his Ready to Wear collection. “He has a love affair with lace of course. Big trend of course, in evening wear.”
Mahoney held up a bone-colored, baggy fisherman’s sweater and grounded it with a golden lace skirt. “It’s a juxtaposition of country life and elegance. They kind of play together,” she said. To highlight a woman’s assets yet leave something to the imagination, designers are defining the waist, adding full skirts and using abstract and painterly florals.
Swathed in python skin or color-blocking — or both — envelope purses continue to trend for ladylike handbags, yet Michael Kors came out with a black doctor’s bag for fall, and Alexander McQueen’s line includes gorgeous hard-boxed bags with embroidery. Some call them works of art.
“I think women are looking for very special bags, not plain ones. One that’s an eye-grabber,” Wilson said.


In a similar vein, menswear is seeing a resurgence in all things gentlemanly, with top tailoring, dapper duffel bags and wide-brimmed hats.
Fashion gurus are painting men in pastels, too, which shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for men in the tropical south.
“Celery greens are big,” said Joseph Wendt of Joseph’s Custom Clothiers in Naples. “It’s a gorgeous, summery color. It’s very appealing and striking. Everybody has a blue blazer. What’s the fun in that?”
Wendt suggests wearing the pastel in subtle patterns in silk and cashmere fabrics, with a navy or light-gray pant made with a cotton-linen blend and a fine leather, slip-on driver shoe.
Hand-woven Italian shoes in caramel and bone colors do well for summer, and super-light wools blended with silk are preferable to cotton and linen, which wrinkle too easily.
“It’s a nice look for men to cruise around Fort Myers and Naples. Not sloppy looking, but they don’t look too formal. Nice and put together,” Wendt said.
A celery-colored sport coats with a charcoal-gray pant and white shirt could be stunning, or with cream-colored pant, beige shirt, a pocket square and peanut-colored belt and shoes.
It’s a fashionable Hamptons-style look for daytime parties, fundraisers or dinner with the wife. A pastel placed with classic neutrals is tasteful, yet striking, he said.
Heading into fall, the color trend deepens with navy blue-purple and hunter green-brown combinations.
For men and women, rich reds will build a solid foundation to any fall wardrobe. Women can go a bit brighter with a tomato red, and men can try a burgundy or brick red.
“A burgandy blazer with charcoal pants just knocks ’em dead,” Wendt said.

About MARKIT Group

MARKIT Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing and public relations firm with an emphasis on social media, reputation management and monitoring, as well as brand management. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Fla., with offices in New York, Pittsburgh and Charleston, S.C. www.markit-group.com.
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