Strike A Pose

November 2011 Ariella McManus

I admit it; I LOVE fashion! I don't mean to sound shallow, but I have been known to actually drool over a pair of shoes and feel faint with longing while watching a runway show. Now, don't get me wrong, I am as proud of my blue and bronze robes as the next person, but every now and then a girl needs a change of pace. While I can't bring you the runway, I can share with you the information I've gathered about the latest trends. Strike a pose,'s fashion week here at HOL!

This continues to be a big fashion trend, as it has now for several seasons. Now before you get the urge to go and raid the man in your life's closet, remember that androgony does not mean simply throwing on some borrowed men's clothing and calling it done. Androgony, while blurring the line between gender-wear, can be very tailored and figure flattering..much more so than if you just schlepped about in dear ol' Dad's suit coat! True androgynous style is not for the faint of heart; but it is well worth the risk, in this girl's opinion.

Animal Print
Another "always in" fashion statement, the trend seems to be experiencing a subtle shift this year. Leopard print takes a background to snakeskin and other more exotic offerings such as feathers. So take a walk on the wild side, channel your inner animal and get ready to roar!

Texture Overload
If ever there was a season in fashion to go wild with mixing-and-matching textures, this is it. Sequins go with knit, leather with wool, plastic with get the point. So if ever you had the desire to be 'fashionably crazy' with clothing..this trend is for you!

Get those glitter guns ready,'s time to sparkle!! Bedazzled, glittering, shiny clothing is in this season. And best of all? It's not only for nighttime anymore! Throw on a sparkly metallic gold tee with your favorite jeans and you're ready to go. The trick is not to overdo piece of sparkly clothing at a time is fine, unless you REALLY want to go for the glitz and glamour. In my opinion, there can be too much of a good thing and going into 'shine overload' is not a place the fashion forward girl wants to be. Like androgony, it takes a certain amount of boldness to wear a trend like this, so channel your inner diva and shine on!!

Bold Prints
We are talking in-your-face-here-I-am prints, not some wimpy little florals. These ain't your mama's prints, girls! The bolder the better, with just a splash of ethnic flare, these prints almost dare you to wear them. If you want to command attention when you enter the room, this would be the way to do it!

Pleats and Frills
For those of you who are the ultimate "girly-girl", don't be have not been overlooked this fashion season. Frills, pleats, rosettes and anything that screams femininity definitely has their place in the latest trends. Updated in a new, modern twist, the clothing is not designed to make you look like a throwback to childhood, but rather a strong but fragile, confident but femininely vulnerable woman. Worn correctly, the effect can be stunning!

We have the British Isles to thank for this one; think Scottish Highlands rather than English schoolgirl (though either would be correct depending on your preference in pattern). The plaid has 'grown up' and is no longer reserved for the dreaded uniform skirts that are the bane of parochial schoolgirls everywhere. God save the Queen..or the witch, in this case. Haul out the bagpipes and get marching, baby..plaid is 'in' in a big way!

Midi and Maxi
Skirt lengths take a dip downward this season from the shorter summer styles. Many of us steer away from longer lengths to avoid falling into the 'dowdy Grandma' trap, but let me assure you that these skirts are anything BUT dowdy! Sometimes the subtle message and the hint of allure can be just as powerful as the one that hits you in the face. A bit retro, a bit ultra-feminine, and a whole lot of appealing..this is one fashion trend that I plan to follow wholeheartedly!

Whether you choose to use it as an accent piece or go full out, leather is a BIG trend this year. This year's fashions prove that leather can definitely be classy enough to fit into mainstream society, and even has a place in the boardroom. Sophisticated, yet luxurious enough to feel decadent, leather is a sure winner all the way around.

If done correctly, layering is a powerful fashion tool. Modern layering consists of a combination of materials light enough not to give you the 'bulky snowman' look, so pile them on freely. It gives a modern, up-to-the minute feel to any ensemble; and can also tie in to the whole different texture trend as well.

Not to fear all you animal lovers out there, you too can embrace this trend, as most designers opt to use fake fur instead of the real thing. It should be interesting to note that oftentimes, designers will manipulate real fur to make it look fake, leaving the 'fake' fur to look more realistic. Odd, I know, but such is the muse of fashion.

Chunky Knits
Nothing speaks comfort more than a cozy, oversized sweater that you can snuggle up in on a cold winter day. The upswing? Unlike the clunky 'boyfriend' sweaters of old (which I incidently love!), these knits will keep you looking perfectly in style as well as being uber easy to wear.

40's Elegance
Retro is still in, but travels back a few decades from the 60's to channel the elegance embodied by the fashionable 1940's woman. Updated to look thoroughly modern, this trend is super HOT this season, and figure flattering to all body types, generally speaking. Pearl Harbor may be a distant memory, but the fashion lives on in a most eye-catching way. Forward, march, and get you some..that's an order!

Color Trends
The whole rainbow is your color palette this season. Literally, there is something for everyone! Ranging from the softest of pastels to the boldest of can't go wrong. Here are some of the hottest color trends for the fall/winter season. Enjoy!



Soft colors:



Bold Color:

Midnight Blue:



I hope you've enjoyed the virtual fashion show and maybe even learned a thing or two. Now it's time for my favorite part..SHOPPING!