Top stylists, influencers, celebrities and fashion mavens converged at Fashion Island in Newport Beach for the 12th annual StyleWeekOC, the three-day style and beauty experience co-hosted by SIMPLY.
Following a private fashion show on Sept. 12 that highlighted upcoming fall trends, an estimated 2,000 people attended free events on Sept. 14, including panels on fashion, beauty and digital marketing and celebrity Q&As with “The Vampire Diaries” actress Kat Graham and singer Ashlee Simpson Ross.
StyleWeekOC offered fashion tips unique to the region. How can Southern Californians wear, for example, trendy fall jackets and coats when it’s still 80 degrees outside?
Utilize lighter-weight layers and fabrics, said celebrity stylist Lo VonRumpf, who spoke at the fashion panel.
“Luckily, most of the stores here cater to the SoCal weather, so if you go with like a lighter linen or that gabardine fabric, and go more the trench [coat] vibe, or even a beautiful silk coat in a jewel tone, you can still have a nice fall feel, but not feel like you’re going to die in the heat,” he said.
The speakers also suggested adapting clothing trends for Orange County’s warmer weather and relaxed atmosphere.
“Being in Orange County as well, we kind of have our own little style,” said Cassydy Berliner, an Instagram fashion influencer who also spoke on the fashion panel. “Jeans with flip flops — people would flip out in New York City that that’s a thing — but that’s a thing here.”
With that in mind, here are four 2019 fall fashion trends from StyleWeekOC:
Borrow from the Boys: Checks and Plaids
While masculine patterns and cuts have been a fall staple for years, several of the looks from the fashion show showcased patterned suits and separates with bright colors, feminine pieces like a ruffled turtleneck, or delicate jewelry for an updated look.
“It’s all about color for fall, and it’s really refreshing to see bright pops of yellow and golds and pinks this season,” said Sara Aplanalp, the lead personal shopper and stylist for Fashion Island who styled the looks for the show. “Normally we get a little more reserved, and we go darker with more jewel tones, but fall is all about this maximum impact.”
The looks included a bright mustard dress, a vibrant red suit with a belted blazer, and a high shine sequined blouse and pink blazer combo that drew audible “oohs” of approval.
“It’s huge. It surfaced a season or two ago, and it is not going anywhere,” Aplanalp said. “If you haven’t gotten on board with some sort of animal print, you’re in luck, because it has morphed [in popularity] from leopard and cheetah into zebra and now snake.”
If an animal print jacket or top is too bold for you, Lindsay Albanese, a stylist and designer who also spoke on the fashion panel, recommends trying out the trend through smaller accessories, like scarves, shoes or handbags “so you can kind of dabble in the trend without wearing it on your body.”
The ladylike combinations included dark floral patterns, feminine details like ruching and ruffles, and a pastel pink jacket paired with an emerald pleated skirt.
“I like that we’re seeing pastels in fall,” Albanese said. “I think naturally we’re programmed to think like, ‘Brown, black or navy — that’s what we need to wear [for fall],’ but I think a blazer is a great investment piece that you can purchase in a lighter color ... and you can see this paired with darker hues, [or] it can go with denim and T-shirts. It’s really like that universally appealing piece that goes year round.”
What Not to Wear
When asked which trends they hope to see less of, all panelists agreed on a single trend.
“The dad shoe situation,” Berliner said, referring to the chunky soled athletic sneakers that some celebrities and influencers have been sporting for the past few years. “I know that it looks great on like four people, but no. My dad doesn’t even wear dad shoes.”
But the best advice — as affirmed by multiple speakers at the event’s panels — is to wear styles that you love.
“You should love what you put on,” said Aplanalp. "[Whatever] makes you feel good, it gives you a little more pep in your step. Honestly, that’s what [fashion] really, truly is about. There’s not many rules anymore, so have fun, first and foremost.”