How to Wear Fall's Most Challenging TrendsBy Lilah Nicolaidis
We're at the start of a new fashion season, and while for some of us this means hours happily spent among racks of new clothes, for most shopping for the “right” items is quite a challenge. To get off to a good start this season, we enlisted the help of an expert: Melissa Richardson Akkaway, the owner of the ultra-chic Beckley Boutique on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The storeowner and fashion lover travels to fashion capitals like New York and Paris every season to meet with designers and attend exclusive trade shows, where she selects the merchandise for her racks, including Vivienne Westwood, Camilla and Marc, Malene Birger and Dallin Chase.
We started by asking Akkaway what the five top trends for fall are, and here's what she told us to stock our closets with:
1. Military-inspired pieces in camouflage or khaki tones
2. Something leather, like a jacket or a skirt
3. Leopard print accessories and clothing
4. Anything in a camel color
5. Fashion with a futuristic or avant-garde feel.
What a list! So of course our next question was: How do we actually wear these trends? We wanted Akkaway's professional advice on how to get started shopping, both for fashionistas and beginners. She deftly gave us suggestions for each category: ...Read More
• Don't be afraid to try the military trend. “A beginner should purchase at least one camouflage piece, either a shoe or a scarf. These items will stand out in any outfit and keep you on trend and in your comfort zone.” What's Akkaway's pick for the experienced shopaholic? “A fashion lover can be more bold with her camouflage choices and purchase something like a jacket or a pair of cargo pants in a military-inspired print, then pair them with a great heel for the evening.”
• Not ready for the leather harem pants that walked the runway at Chloé? “A leather jacket is a must for every wardrobe,” Akkaway explains. “Try a classic-fitted style that can be worn day or evening.” We agree that a leather jacket is a great building block for any wardrobe. And what should the fashion lover look out for this season? “Something bolder, like a pair of leather shorts or a one-shouldered leather dress,” she suggests.
• Any animal print can be tricky to wear, and leopard is no exception. “Try a leopard day or evening bag that can be worn with an all-black outfit, or throw on a leopard print scarf to ease into this trend,” our expert advises. “But a fashion lover should have fun with this print and go for an evening look, like a sequined or colored leopard print dress.”
• Camel (or caramel, blond or taupe) is an absolute must for this season. This hue's staying power is strong, so don't be afraid to stock up on this trend. Akkaway suggests that fashion novices try an over-the-knee flat boot for day, while the fashion lover should add a chunky, oversized camel knit like a cardigan or an exaggerated turtleneck to her closet.
• Perhaps the trickiest trend on the list is futuristic or avant-garde, and Akkaway loves the combination of gold black as a starting point. “Try a black and gold skirt that can be paired with a simple black tee,” she shares. For a more experienced shopper, “exaggerated and embellished shoulders either in a structured jacket or knit” are the way to go.
But we've still got more questions, starting with, what should we splurge on this season? “I would splurge on leopard statement pieces, such as a platform heel or a day or evening bag since the leopard trend resurfaces every few years,” advises Akkaway. And what about items that we can save on and still feel dressed for the season? “Costume jewelry is a great item to save on, as well as fur — just purchase anything faux!” We will admit that a good fake can certainly fit the bill in many situations. And what's on Akkaway's shopping list this season? “I love the Rag & Bone military jacket, leopard platforms from Prada and a pair of denim harem pants that I just purchased from Q13.” We'll have to check in at Beckley for those items!
Finally, we asked Akkaway to share some suggestions for the best possible shopping experience. “Explain to the salesperson what you are looking for, and be open and willing to try things on that are out of your comfort zone. You never know what you are going to love!”
Our shopping expert, Melissa Richardson AkkawayCourtesy of Beckley