Nudes and Neons : Still a Craze for F/W 2009.

Nudes and Neons for F/W 2009:  Discussion of color trends and the ever eternal question “Should I invest?”

Spring 2008 premiered the use of Grey as a statement color.

 Coming off a high of chartreuse and bold color blocking for the past two seasons, Spring 2008 was a time to come to grips with a more focused season.  The early months of the year were still full of hope and promise in most of the world – most economic struggles were merely hinted at rather than focused upon.  Coincidence or not, the fashion world created a world filled with  more polished look.  The grand opening of Neimen Marcus in Natick, Massachusetts debuted their visual merchandising package for the S/S ’08 season with a strong interior finish-out of grey and citrus colored accents spread through out the multi-level store, accent rugs to the zebra wood used in the men’s section on the main floor, grey was everywhere to be seen .  When Neimen Marcus invests heavily in grey, you know it’s going to be big . . .  

Soft grey was used as an accent piece by most and a statement color by designers who saw beyond the drab connotation that stuffy charcoals convey.  A major point is structure when using monochromatic themes, such as grey or the updated version, nude.  Here Sophia Kokosalaki, of whom I’ve been a fan of since my personal discovery in 2007, shows a perfect example of the “new grey”.    

Sophia Kokosalaki Spring 08.

Sophia Kokosalaki Spring '08.



Fall 2008 – fall of economy.  all about taking it down a notch.

grey is used heavily to convey a calmer palette and somber sense of being.  

Fall 2008 was an uncomfortable period.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost across the globe.  Retail margins shrank by an astonishing number of points.  This time even the luxury markets were game, reductions in merchandise price were common at 50 – 70%.   Every other fashion editorial was plastered with the message of balancing the fantasy driven tendencies that the fashion world provides with a very grave reality of well, reality.  Phrases like budget fashionista and depression chic began to become full fledged tag words in the blogosphere and editorial world.

 Deconstructed lines and flowing layers added depth and texture while allowing grey to take the center stage.  Black accents work to emphasize the downplayed direction of style.  Burberry Prorsum F/W 2008 hit it on the mark with the collection driven by an edgier street style.  

Burberry Prorsum F/W 2008

Burberry Prorsum F/W 2008



Spring 2009; a new beginning and a cleansing of the soul. 

subtle nude palettes give a sense of quiet hope and ladylike tendencies.  

The world held it’s breath for just a moment.  The People of the United States, after an 8 year conservative reign, were about to hand the largest financial crisis and deepest recession off to the first African American President, Barack Obama.  After Election Day the stock market began to settle and business continued as usual.  Well, maybe with an added dash of “hope”.  The fashion industry responded with an Ode to Women’s Self-Respect, to explore creative passions and find the courage within to manifest their dreams into reality.  

Colors began to become fresh and light.  Nudes seemed to celebrate the feminine form – Herve Leger and the Bandage Dress clung to Hollywood’s most elite and gloriously curvy.  It wasn’t only an acceptance of the body but a rally behind the woman within.  La Perla’s example, below, lends the imagination to run wild and free while still maintaining a demure  presence.  The mixture of tan and cream paper-thin layers with highlights of taupe and white  just play into the flesh tone creating this illusion of rosy and radiant skin.  Nude does amazing things to women’s bodies. 

La Perla S/S 2009

La Perla S/S 2009



Summer 09 – neons debut still grounded by prominent and established  color palettes. 

Here we are – we have made it!  The world is still chugging along.  Most have been forced to reflect and deal with issues that have been brushed aside too long.  Whether it’s consumer protection laws going into place, women adjusting to their new fashion budget, or the garment industry rethinking their price point structure in order to attract new customers, new systems and strategies have been carefully planned and there seems to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.  

The melancholy shades of last season have lightened up for the occasion!  This season, grey, stone and a continuation of nude carries the softness of spring that was the focus of  last season.  Bright neons are accentuated with interesting details, these range from the ultra structured and almost futuristic take on neons to juxtaposing color with classic styling and draping techniques.  

I find myself these days with a neon orange clutch with a black zipper that I can’t live without.  Oh,  and my neon citrus Elizabeth and James dress that is begging to be worn in this summer heat.   Would I make it a staple of my wardrobe?  No, but if an article of clothing or an accessory just begs to be taken home with you – you can feel comfortable knowing that neon is not going anywhere for Fall 09.  

Spring 09 Zac Posen

Zac Posen S/S 2009




Fall 2009 – Brights take the full departure.

it’s all about the positive vibrations.  

Fierce determination comes to mind for Fall 09.  We’re tired of being tired and we’re tired of being grumpy.  We’re making a change for the better.  There is no time like the present to bring a little infectious positivity.  Strategies put into place months ago are starting to yield positive results.  The adjustment in stress levels should come down.  “We got it.  We have been through worse.  This is nothing compared to LY.”  We ready to shout from the tops of the mountains that we are ready to have some fun!

 There is still a focus on the demure canvas of camels, mahogany, khaki, blush, lavendar, black, forest green.  These base colors allow an interesting interpretation on the revival of the 80’s color scheme.  Accents are BRIGHT: cherry red, teal, neon pink, the list goes on.  Then there’s Etro bringing on a full on bohemian 80’s fusion with the newly termed “tribal punk” trend.  Absolutely incredible.  Below, Jason Wu demonstrates the full departure on brights.  

Jason Wu F/W 2009

Jason Wu F/W 2009


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