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Statement pieces for the New Year

Valerie McPhail

(1/2017) This holiday season, fashion is giving us a lot to be excited about. In this New Year, puffer coats, shearling jackets, strappy accented shoes and graphic pullover sweatshirts are the current topics of interest. As the new year offers the best that is yet to come, start the holiday season off with an investment piece. Such an action behaves like a resolution that brings the heat and steps this new season into the right direction.

Just as it is suggested with New Year’s resolutions, small changes support big goals. Common resolutions proceed: reading for 20 minutes a day will help you finish novels, and going to the gym regularly will work your body into fit shape, as will plugging money into a savings account to incline your habits to spend less and save more. All of the above are similar of mind as they reveal a strategy towards achieving what we believe will enrich and provide improvement to our lifestyles.

Since making the move to New York, I have run into a cyclone of lifestyle changes as I initiate my career in the fashion industry. In this time, similar aspirations have become intermingled with ideas of dress. Simone Rocha floral appliqués and Equipment’s silk button downs fill my mind with a garden of budding possibilities to how the following season could and will blossom. My wardrobe is an expression of what I focus my attention and time towards. As resolutions that inspire more reading and exercise, so to encourage intellect and health, attention to fashion and clothes is a personal pronouncement alike. Styles of dress are a lens of life.

Take the concept of New Year’s resolutions into where fashion finds you this season. From personal experience, fashion has always been synonymous to personal style. Clothing and design have become a way of personal expression, just as important as any other form of communication. As a natural result, the clothing that hangs in my closet must be evaluated every so often as it manifests into a form of expression. This is where we can find the beauty of fashion. Allow the accents of fashion to complement the anticipation for this new season ahead. Awareness of these details will bring fashion into your resolutions.

Puffer coat

Patagonia launched the passion for the down jacket in the fall of 2014. Just last winter, Montcler and Canada Goose took over the fashion scene by suiting up every New Yorker in preparation for the city’s winter vortex. This year, the interest in this style is less concerned with a brand name basis. Rather, small changes to this style of coat via colors, size and shape will determine its statement. Metallic colors sparkled the shows at Chanel and Stella McCartney, military green and midnight blue sport styles found in camping stores such as Fjallraven and Roots as the oversized "poncho" look currently trends.


These variations of the puffer jacket offer exciting fashion for the New Year for these accents have elevated the technicality that first launched interest in these styles. What was once an object designed with the intent of layering underneath peacoats and leather jackets, this new year there is no longer a need. For metallic colors and dramatic oversized styles elevate the functionality of the down jacket.


Strappy ankle

This is the shoe that transitions between outfits at the parties for Christmas celebration to New Year’s Eve, here is your holiday party shoe. Notorious in women’s fashion under the style name, "Mary Jane," this shoe design carries a sensibility of being innocent, girly and youthful. In women’s fashion, the strapped ankle designs with an accent of class. This shoe style is a New Year’s statement for it has won interest in a variety of designs. From the high heel, wedge to the pointed toe flat, the ankle strap is a detail that marks a statement across all essential styles of shoe.

The strapping detail converts into men’s most popular shoe styles: the Chukkaa, Chelsea boot and Velcro sneakers. The straps on theses loafers and small ankles boots provide an accent to the otherwise simple patterned boot; its purpose on these shoe models are strictly decoration. Adidas’ Stan Smith’s collaboration with Belgian designer Raf Simmons replaces the laces of tennis shoes with Velcro straps. Here the industry experiences the strap in a revolutionary way. The straps are a statement of unique characteristic that both decorates and functions for the shoe.

The reason for the strappy shoes serves different functions for men’s and women’s shoes. For women, the strap is an archived reference to child’s fashion in the early 20th Century, a performance theatre shoe and in the punk rock and gothabilly movement. The modern style resurfaced in the London fashion scene at the early 2000’s and has since grown into a fun feminine style appropriate for any form of celebration. The straps added to men’s shoes serves the purpose of innovation, reinvent the system of style that has served generations. For the guys, buckles and straps are for the fashion forward.


Shearling Jacket

Wool collars gives a fresh wintery look to update the classic denim, corduroy or leather jacket. This admits shearling as a seasonal accent. This cozy statement is essentially universal: sported in New York youth culture by young adults who live in Urban Outfitters and by the European Belstaff audience, for those who hike the snowy hills and the beautiful terrain of Northern Ireland.

Best appropriated for this time of year, wool, warmest natural material, that lines some styles as well as adorn collared jackets of the season is turned into fashion for another function— aesthetic. In this form, shearling becomes of interest for its signal of warm as much as its practicality.


Graphic sweater

The interest in graphic pullover sweatshirts has overwhelmed the fashion community. Street style brands have pushed boundaries and have made even the most leisurely items of clothing, fashionable. Female fashions have engaged with this interest by ways of brands such as Claire V and Wildfox, with phrase that state things such as "Ciao" and "I don’t want feelings, I just want new clothes" that are fun, personable and are designed for cute conversational starters.

For men, brand names such as sport culture brands, surfer Saturdays, and skate Supreme and as well as Volcom initiated interest in branded clothing, and still today keep the interest alive. The reason, shopping is made simpler for men as they claim to shop and show their brand alliance.

As the access to street style brands developed societal interest in fashion, high fashion brands have taken heed. Parisian Couture house label, Kenzo is among the luxury fashion brands elevates this interest. Among the funky prints and vibrant colors that define the brand, Kenzo has designed a frenzy around their printed pullovers. A giant tiger face the pullover was among fashion’s first to launch the interest. In this season, bring a fresh statement to your wardrobe with the charming illustrations and graphics of fashion.

Bring fashion into your new year in the form of a statement. The puffer jacket, strappy shoe, shearling jacket and pullover sweatshirt have been reconsidered so to enhance this season a little more bright. Adventure to test the waters and try on these statement trends with high hopes for that even in fashion, the best is yet to come.

Read other articles by Valerie McPhail