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Neiman Marcus: Fall-Winter 2011 Trends

I recently sat down and discussed fashion trends with Nicole Briggs, a Specialist in the Contemporary Department at Neiman Marcus.  Read about her fall/winter favorites, the “must have” Glittery Wang Pants, color blocking, and the Mad Men inspired clothing:

Nicole, Tell us a bit about yourself?  How long have you been in the fashion industry?  Why fashion?  And, do you design clothes as well?

I am originally from Chicago and moved to LA a year ago to pursue wardrobe styling. I have been in retail for 12 years; having worked for Henri Bendel, Nordstrom and specialty stores like Robin Richman.  And I started my online store, Shrink Boutique, 3 years ago to plant a retail seed for myself. I have a communications degree and always thought I would end up a fashion magazine editor.  I have written some fashion articles and enjoy many facets of fashion whether it’s the beauty of clothing design, a fashion photographer’s process, or the innovation that comes with styling.  I do not design but have produced fashion and fine art photography.

What designers do you sell in your department at Neiman Marcus?

I work in the Contemporary Department and the list of designers is really long but can be found on Neiman’s website:

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/catalog/templates/siloIndex.jhtml?itemId=cat17740733&parentId=cat000117&masterId=cat000000

I am a specialist that focuses on what Neiman’s defines as Advanced Designer, which includes Philip Lim, Helmut Lang, Robert Rodriguez, Haute Hippie, Elizabeth and James, Alexander Wang, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, newcomers: Satchin and Babi, Bird by Juicy Couture and now Kelly Wearstler.

So, I know that bold saturated colors are really big this fall. Examples: orange, deep rich blues and reds…which we’ve been seeing a lot of in the denim world lately. What are some bold colors that your designers have out this fall/winter?  And which is your favorite piece?

The main bold color this season is Bordeaux and any variation of it like purples, burgundy, and cranberry. The colors are bold but not as bright as they were this past spring/ summer season. The colored jeans continue but in muted colors like brown, burgundy, burnt orange, navy. (On a side note:  corduroy jeans whether it’s a skinny or flare leg is huge this season.) My favorite bold piece is actually an Alexander Wang Glitter pant. The dominant color is blue but they serve as a great staple if glitter pants can be a staple to all of the great tops and sweaters this season.

Alexander Wang "Glittery Pants"

Mad Men has re-inspired women to dress more classy and lady-like and men to look dapper.  The mid-calf length skirt is huge this fall, what designers have you noticed go in this direction?  Can you show us some piece?

Robert Rodriguez, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti and Rachel Zoe took this trend to heart. Rodriguez has a lot of leather and tweed, lace and tailored suiting in his collection. The pieces I love are the faux fur bordeaux capelet, the matching jewel-trimmed bordeaux dress, and the mid-calf leather skirt. Philosophy did a stunning forest print dress reminiscent of a mid-century painting and a tri-color block dress. Rachel Zoe for her debut collection did a tweed pantsuit, which is both vintage and menswear inspired.


Robert Rodriguez: Faux Fur Cropped Jacket

Robert Rodriguez: Leather Skirt

Robert Rodriguez: Tweed Dress

Rachel Zoe: Charlie Suit

Color Blocking is also huge this fall/winter. Can you show us some fun pieces?

Well in contemporary, you will see color blocking in sweaters like in Vince or the Philosophy dress shown above. Here is an Alice and Olivia dress that’s two-tone which they did several color ways. The most exciting color blocking came from Celine this year.

Alice + Olivia : Two-Tone Dresses

Celine's 2011 Color Blocking

What about leather this season?  I heard that leather skirts will be a big hit this fall /winter.

Leather in general is huge. But bigger than leather skirts are leather pants. Leather skinny pants or leggings are a must have from designers like Helmut Lang, Current/Elliot and Vince. There’s a pretty flare leather pant from Elizabeth and James. Helmut did a knit and leather skirt that’s really fun.

Current/Elliot: “The Pull Up Suede (Lamb)” & ” The Leather” Legging”

I can trace my ancestors back to the Bolivian Indians so I’ve always been a poncho gal and thus ponchos have always been a wardrobe staple for me.  Can you show us any ponchos for this fall/winter?

There are poncho inspired pieces such as the Salma fur cape from Elizabeth and James and the Poncho style camel coat from Rachel Zoe

Elizabeth and James: “Salma Fur Jacket”

Rachel Zoe: Poncho inspired “Camel Coat”

Chloe Poncho

What is your fashion forecasting for Spring/Summer 2012?

I would say that ladies will still be in love with rompers and jumpsuits, neutrals and natural things like crochet pieces continue over from fall. Conversely you will still see pops in color as well such as orange especially here in L.A where color is always a staple. As always, fashion is cyclical so look for stripes to come back and maybe a hint of preppy.

If you could only pick out three new pieces for this fall/winter what would they be?

The glitter Alexander Wang pants which I own, a Celine color block bag and I am torn on shoes between suggesting the Giuseppe Zanotti “Colorclock Crystalized Stillettos” or Miu Miu “Glitter Stilettos”.

Nicole’s : Must Have!

Alexander Wang’s “Glittery Pants” Must Have!

And last but not least, does Neiman Marcus have any great sales that we should be aware of? And if so, when?

Well the most important thing to be at Neiman’s is a member. Incentives are offered to our card holders more often than to the public, also known as the “in-circle program”. There will always be Last Call that occurs just twice a year,  mid-summer and after Christmas but there are many impromptu sales that only our members know about. I will say there are a few markdowns now, some leftover summer things but no schedule on the duration of it. We are sneaky sometimes with sales and you just have to have a salesperson (like Nicole :) to email you about them.

When do you work at Neiman Marcus?  How can someone contact you at Neiman’s?

I’m there 5 days a week especially weekends. Email me at nicole_briggs@neimanmarcusstores.com

Thanks Nicole for this fabulous tutorial on Fall/Winter Fashions :)

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