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Five trends in women's fashion this fall

Distilling dozens of designer collections isn't easy. But after a month-long cavalcade of fashion weeks in the style capitals of Paris, Milan, London and

New York

, here goes — our picks for the fall-winter 2011 season's top five trends.

Caped crusaders:

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The newest-looking outerwear pieces for the season are capes and ponchos. There was one or the other in nearly every collection, and choices to suit nearly every mood, from sporty (Rag & Bone) to sleek (

Lanvin

) to sex kitten (

Alexander Wang

).

Novelty furs:

Fur has been a perennial on the fall-winter runways for several years now. So this season, designers had to use it even more creatively to get our attention — on goggle straps (Wang), dickies (

Fendi

), cross-body bags (

Michael Kors

) and even grocery carts that models wheeled down the runway (

Jean Paul Gaultier

).

Lace:

It was the stuff of plains women at

Rodarte

, ladylike artistes at

Bottega Veneta

and fetish queens at Louis Vuitton. Lace embellished everything, even the models' faces, at

Jason Wu

.

Sixties rewind:

There were nods to mod at

Prada

,

Yves Saint Laurent

,

Alberta Ferretti

and

Versace

. And the entire

Burberry Prorsum

collection was inspired by 1960s supermodel Jean Shrimpton. Other designers (at

Jil Sander

,

Thakoon

and

Junya Watanabe

) took midcentury couture shapes and translated them for today, using modern materials and sportswear accents.

Glam grunge:

Forget the greasy hair and thrift store finds of the Kurt and Courtney days. Grunge went glam on the runways at

Chanel

,

Altuzarra

,

Haider Ackermann

,

Balenciaga

and Alexander Wang, with a long, lanky silhouette and long, loose layers of rich fabric.

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