April’s New York Fashion Week showcased a variety of trending styles, from neutral to vibrant colors and classic to bold designs. Among them were designer Joseph Altuzarra’s purple velvet dress with crystal and gold flowers, Alexander Wang’s plaid blazer and matching plaid jumpsuit and Ryan Roche’s long plush gray fur jacket, cinched together with a belt.
The fashion weeks in New York, Paris and Milan set the stage for the upcoming season’s hot styles. Bend boutique owners took note of the runway fashions, and using color, texture and pattern, they stocked their stores with in-vogue outfits suited for the High Desert.
“One of the things that we’re really aware of is that there are a lot of things that are out there and trending that aren’t appropriate for the Bend lifestyle,” said Jennifer Riker, owner of Brave Collective.
Most Central Oregonians wouldn’t wear a past-knee-length fur coat to walk through 8 inches of snow. A person might wear a velvet sweater or embroidered long-sleeve dress with boots.
The owners of Lost Season, Brave Collective and Flipped Consignment Boutique discussed some of the popular autumn trends available in their stores, including blush-colored attire, velvet blouses and skirts, embroidered clothing and pattern-on-texture possibilities.
Inspired by the book “You Are A Badass,” by Jen Sincero, Riker opened Brave Collective two years ago with a desire to turn her career focus toward women’s issues. The boutique located off Century Drive sells women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry and gift items. “We really wanted to be that community mercantile,” Riker said. “And make sure that when we get women in with a specific purpose, and they would feel really safe and supported.”
While Riker’s background is public relations and marketing, she works closely with an executive fashion team to determine the latest styles and make the store orders. Being a small business, she has the flexibility to order multiple times a week and change the store’s offerings frequently. She focuses on what’s popular in Bend.
Riker mentioned the color blush almost immediately when the question came up about current seasonal trends. “I personally love the color blush. It’s a great color on so many skin tones,” Riker said. “It looks great on redheads, on dark black hair, on blondes.”
The store is filled with a variety of blush items at the moment, including a Look BYM knit pom beanie ($22) with matching mittens ($20), a Blue Pacific cashmere scarf ($89), a Thread and Needle velvet shirt ($79), a Naked Zebra tank ($39) and, the most striking of all, a POL faux fur jacket ($149)
“I wanted to bring in (clothes) that you would find in Portland off of Division Street rather than inside a mall,” said Melissa Atillo, owner of Lost Season.
Atillo’s boutique is located on Colorado Avenue next to Palate, a coffee bar. She has worked in the fashion industry for 18 years. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with a degree in fashion design and product development. She took a brief hiatus from clothing design to design furniture for her family’s business but quickly returned to her passion.
“I’m always looking, anywhere and everywhere,” she said of the latest trends and styles. “I follow the different fashion weeks, and I follow up on the different fashion bloggers.”
The ‘70s are back in style, and with it, embroidered detail has come back into fashion. At department stores, a large red rose sewn on denim is one of the most common examples of the embroidery trend.
Atillo explained that Lost Season usually has some form of embroidered items, and right now, there’s no shortage. “We have an embroidered wrapped kimono dress in velvet,” Atillo said while holding up the dress ($50). “All the trends.”
She has a forest green miniskirt ($40) with purple, yellow and red embroidery on the front. She recommends pairing it with a chunky sweater. “It’s like ‘90s preppy and then you wear your high socks with it plus leggings and boots,” she said. There’s a long black slip dress ($48), with subtle yet eye-catching embroidered outlines of constellations. Also, an off-white delicate blouse ($78) with embroidered detailing around the neckline.
Pattern with texture
Lisa Sobotta opened Flipped Consignment Boutique to provide women with high quality consigned clothing and accessories that are on trend. Growing up with five sisters, Sobotta was no stranger to hand-me-downs. When she began an insurance career, she sought out professional clothing at second-hand stores. “I found that when you went to the resell stores you could build a wardrobe and it wasn’t that big financial outlay,” she said.
Sobotta is selective in choosing items for her boutique and has a month-long waitlist for consigner appointments.
One of her go-to styles for the store is pairing patterns with texture. “When you have texture and pattern you create a lot of interest,” she said. “If you think about landscaping, you want to create interest, you want to create different heights, different colors so people have an experience.” She currently has a gray and black fur vest ($52) that she recommends pairing with a black, gray and red button down flannel ($16) and slate black ribbed leggings ($32). Sobotta also has a cream open-knit sweater with a black pattern ($13) that can be paired with a beaded blouse ($17) and distressed jeans ($20).
She has a couple rules of thumb, but, ultimately, recommends experimenting with patterns to see what goes together.
Velvet was a big trend in the ‘80s and has come back into fashion, but with different lines and cuts so it’s a more modern, sleek look, explained Felicia Barth-Aasen, an employee at Brave Collective.
All three of the boutiques are currently featuring velvet items, including jackets, shirts, dresses and skirts. “We’re seeing velvet in all kinds of colors, it’s a fun way to add texture and interest,” Riker said.
Flipped Consignment has a navy blue J. Crew velvet jacket ($16). Brave Collective has a purple velvet mini skirt ($42) and a blush velvet blouse ($79). Lost Season has an Entro Dolce velvet wrap dress with embroidered sleeves ($50).
“There’s so much that’s in right now,” Sobotta said. “It’s just incorporating it into your Bend lifestyle.”
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