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An argument to accessorize

Valerie McPhail

(11/2016) Let me confide in you with a personal confession: I have never been one to accessorize. Rather, my interest in fashion has stayed concerned with the motives of fashion dictated by shape and silhouette.

However, with the recent interest in sneakers ó high tops, low tops, Velcro, lace-ups and platform ó you name it, my curiosity peaked. A cultural fad initiated by a mass of teenage boys, and then overcome with girl power ó the sneakers-paired-with-dresses-skirts-and-trousers look, brought me to see fashion differently. Certain pieces of fashion could contrive the way clothing is understood, and in some situations, alter its precedent perception. Accessories can make a smashing statement that disrupts a societyís understanding of fashion, as did this sneakerhead society. Or, in other situations, subtle additions sustains an outfit. An argument to accessories accentuates at the climax when that one and only last piece completes your final look before you walk out that door. It is the cherry on top, the mountain peak that sets you soaring for a day of glee and smiley face emojis. Accessories are a stylistic feature, and therefore there could not be a more relevant time than ever for cultureís interest in personal style. Call it a necklace, a friendship bracelet or a handbag: these accessories elevate the way clothes are worn.

For some, the intent of accessorizing is different. I can say for myself that accessories play out as a sentiment of romanticism through their function. Whether it be the bracelet I treat myself to, as a daily reminder of an achievement or a momentum of inspiration, or like my Marc by Marc Jacobs watch ó a simple black leather strap and rose gold face piece that was a college graduation gift and ever since, stands as a piece of my everyday attire ó one thing defines such pieces, and that is: their intention, and their special place in the attribution of style.

Why then accessorize? In its commitment, there is a freedom to bedazzle with the furry loafers, or to sport the "it bag" in season. Jewelry, handbags and shoes make for classic forms of accessories. Such expenditures can complete an outfit, aid in the exploration of current trends, and create a statement or dissimilarity, a signature style.

Just before the time when mittens, beanies and earmuffs inspire the holiday season, there is fall fashion: a season notorious for the excuse for adding layers. This sort of blanketing ó not jackets, scarves, nor cardigans ó but rather the decorative handbag or shoe, trumps accessory trends for good measure. These fall interests will spruce up the wardrobe this season. They are the accessories that layer onto an outfit to serve the purpose of accenting outfits. Fashion fixates on the statements. In current interests the more outrageous the better. So then, if these are no excuses, venture no further to these current fads that keep the fantasies of fashion alive.

Womenís Accessories


By definition the mule is a backless loafer, a slide on, slip-on shoe; the design of the shoe stands as an automatic statement. Fashion style photographers wonít stop shooting pictures of them, as magazine editors and socialites keep fashioning them on the streets of fashion meccas. The mule is the perfect transitional shoe in this Indian Summer we are experiencing: it allows the changeover between the warmer to colder weather to be more comfortable. This fall season, accents of color, design and detail including the plum purple of my friendís Madewell pair and the frenzy of fur that launched the Gucci Princeton Loafers can be seen on the market.

Everlane has since made other innovating statements, a San Francisco based brand that has made The Modern Babo, the loafer convertible mule. The particular style is a game changer for not only its design but through attention to sustainability. This mindset of its own will alter the direction of fashion: not all is wasteful.

With an eye on factories and their production in addition to developing a genuine relationship with their customers through honesty, a business model the company refers to as "Radical Transparency," Everlane is here to cleanse characterizations of destruction and imprudence. By default, the brand will metamorphose these notions into a pure knowledge of production of the brandís product. Working with such a foundation, the industry will find that not only sustainable fashion trends are in season, but that such brands can sustain the trends.

Cross bodice bag

In a similar fashion to the mule, the cross bodice bag rebuilds a bag through different forms. Its name derives from its function as a cross body bag that cuts to the torso of those who fashion the style; therefore establishing a multi-faceted handbag that works as a shoulder bag, but carries the length of a cross body.

The Michael Kors Raven Medium Messenger Bag is its technical name, but stylistically this is a cross bodice bag, a new trend that in the fresh fall season of fashion celebrates with a richness in color and gold hardware accents. Such features relay the beauty of this bag. Detailed with accents of gold rings on the cross body straps, the bag carries a dazzling spirit alongside a palette of fall colors including plum purple, moss green and brick brown. These details of the leather Raven Messenger bag reveals the typical romance Kors brings to the world of fashion.

This time around, the New York City designer brings back a classic form of fashion. There is innovation in its design, but its affect is signature to its style, and that is only described as lovely, feminine and sophisticated.

Menís accessories

Brief case

Similar to the cross bodice, is a classic form of accessory in the world of menswear. The brief case is a working manís bag. In the professional world, the bag carries all the necessities. For practical reasons this keeps its style on the market. Its functionalism makes it an automatic fashion statement. The current captivation for the brief case has altered as the interest in technology coincides with the fashion industry. Indeed there is a relationship, typically exposed through social media apps and cell phone cases. However, the seasonís attention to bags with technical fabrication broadcasts the greater effect of this relationship: one that influences the trending styles and highlights brands that designs for its cause.

Tumi, a South American brand, is captivating attention through an urban, modern and slick style. With interest in building products that feature practical compartments and ballistic nylon-based material, this brand appeals to the tech industry, and therefore naturally becomes trendy. This very aspect breeds its name across New York City. People get obsessive. The Peruvian brand initially introduced itself in the city at Grand Central Terminal, an integral spot for business. As technology becomes interested in making responsibilities in life easier and more practical, such brands show that the fashion industry has its full support.

This fall 2016, accessorizing means making statements with innovation. Loafers, cross body bags and brief cases have remained as classic forms of fashion throughout history. However recent attention to the details of their design, including accents of color and decoration, design and fabrication have resurfaced attention for these staples. Accessorizing is trending, just in a new form of fashion: a method where these details make all the difference in the world.

Read other articles by Valerie McPhail