As a blogger and fashion forecaster, Lindsay Mayer writes about fashion designers’ influence on mass-market retailers. She tracks down low-cost options for looks she spots on the runway and breaks down how retail evolves to fit new trends. We asked her about her favorite fall trends and how we can also find high fashion at low prices.
SB: You have an uncanny ability to find items that look like they’re right off the runway but are available at less expensive stores. If I see something I like, what are your tips for finding a low-cost option?
LM: Why thanks a bunch! In fact, that is the main goal of SHIPSHOW, i.e. showing how runway designers are influencing the mass market. To find low-cost alternatives, you can scan the Internet for hours each day or (shameless plug warning) let SHIPSHOW do the work for you.
To find a low-cost alternative to a designer look that doesn’t make the SHIPSHOW Spring or Fall trend forecast, there are great tools that use visual recognition technology. Instead of spending hours searching online or in stores, there are some great iPhone and iPad apps that do the heavy lifting for you. The Business of Fashion published a fantastic article that discusses the best visual recognition apps on the market today (see Visual Search Set to Make World of Imagery Instantly Shopable).
SB: What are your favorite cheap, chic shops?
LM: Thrift stores! If you have the lovely opportunity to travel through my surrogate hometown, Kansas City, I am a huge fan of Re-Runs and Junior League as well as KC-based vintage seller SoQuaint (on eBay). If you are traveling through Paris, I highly recommend Les Georgettes, FREE’P’STAR, Kiloshop and if you have the chance to catch it, the fashion truck Cotton & WILD. Who cares about food trucks when there is a fashion truck!
LM: However, the cheapest and chicest shop on the planet in my mind isn’t a shop but an online retailer, ASOS. I’m such a die-hard fan for so many reasons. They are not only masters in democratising fashion–which I am all about–offering a variety of wide-ranging affordable styles, but (to nerd out for a moment) their logistics and supply chain teams are just rock stars. If I want to invest in a new piece of clothing of decent quality, I don’t waste my time really anywhere else.
SB: What are your favorite trends for the upcoming fall season?
LM: My top three favorite trends for this upcoming autumn season all fall into the SHIPSHOW Top 10 Trend Forecast (pun intended). The first is southwestern prints (Polo Ralph Lauren, Lindsey Thornburg). The reason being that I’m a native Texan so it reminds me of warm Dallas winters. My second favorite is the knitted “collage” sweater (Coach, Antonio Marras). Personally, I find knitted sweaters rather ugly, so for me there is something humorous about incorporating a bunch of random images into a knitted sweater that make it so ugly, it’s chic. (Call it ugly chic!) Last but not least, my third favorite would be the toggle coat (Coach, Cut25 by Yigal Azrouël. Organic by John Patrick, Veronique Branquinho, Lindsey Thornburg). I am absolutely nuts about Lindsey Thornburg’s flared toggle coats…
SB: How do I subtly incorporate trends into my wardrobe?
LM: Take it one trend at a time and know your color wheel. It may seem counter-intuitive but to subtly incorporate a trend, the rest of your outfit should serve as a backdrop, or mise en scène. Coco Chanel is attributed to having once said, “Elegance is refusal”. In other words, don’t wear anything that doesn’t serve the purpose of showcasing your piece de résistance. So rock the flashy fast-food graphics (inspired by Moschino’s 2014 RTW collection), but tone it down with a pair of jeans and minimize the accessories.
SB: How do I find pieces that are inspired by a trend but don’t exactly look like a knockoff?
LM: Garments inspired by runway trends are everywhere, even if the inspiration isn’t evident. Product development and merchandising teams are consistently influenced by the runway and know how to mold their inspiration into pieces universally flattering on women of all shapes and sizes. To find pieces inspired by a trend that aren’t knockoffs, you can always take a gander at the trend analysis I do on SHIPSHOW. If one of my main goals is to show designers’ influence on the mass market, the underlying motivation is to make the public aware of this influence and celebrate it!