Featuring Willa June

We love fall fashion. Eden Prairie Lifestyle watched the runways, perused top fashion periodicals and checked in with one of the area’s most fashionable women. Jodi Larson at Willa June boutique in Victoria helped us interpret fall trends and showed us how they translate to the cozy and comfortable pieces showing up locally.

When the “big four” fashion capitols previewed the season, there were typically remarkable similarities between the houses. We always wonder: how did Chanel, Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent all deem extreme shoulder pads de rigueur and decide to create au courant giant, colorful coats?

The closest most of us get to haute couture is watching the Oscars from our sofas. In leggings. Even A-listers borrow gowns for the red carpet. Real women don’t wear the high concept clothes that designers present on the runways of Paris, Milan, London and New York. They know we won’t. But, like Jodi says, “the runways…provide the landscape for what’s to come. It’s interesting to see how that translates into small boutiques like ours.” Runway season for Fall 2018 happened when there was still snow on the ground in Minnesota, allowing plenty of time to interpret trends for ready-to-wear.

We liked the Harper’s Bazaar runway report for zeroing in on the top fall trends. Here are our takes: Savile Row tailoring in classic herringbone and houndstooth patterns may be one of the more approachable styles. Dramatically oversized outerwear will undoubtedly get toned down from fashion week to department stores. The boho-chic aesthetic continues, this time with textures like quilting, patchwork, shearling, and crochet. Floral and Native American prints are still present in ruffled, prairie-style dresses and blouses. This season’s retro look is circa the 80s. Think exaggerated shoulder pads on black jackets, paired with skinny jeans. The futuristic trend – using iridescent, metallic and transparent “textiles” with lots of sharp edges – won’t translate from the runway to ready-to-wear. We think it’s more performance art than clothing. We like the long, lean, wearable silhouettes in white. Fashion writers at Marie Claire picked up on up-dated animal prints (tiger and snow leopard!), ruching and monochromatic red ensembles in the collections. Elle magazine interpreted the runways with an eye-roll, calling three-dimensional sparkle the “disco ball look,” and labeling oft-noted sexy suiting “NSFW.”

Designers presented their avant-garde designs on the runway to establish their aesthetic and communicate their vision for the upcoming season. Now, fall is here and their looks are toned-down to make them wearable for fans and profitable for retailers. Skilled buyers like Jodi at Willa June found the best versions of runway concepts, curated to create wardrobes to suit our Minnesota lifestyle and her customers’ days and nights. This fall, look for Jodi’s favorite chunky, cozy sweaters paired with denim. “The colors are beautiful this year… it was hard to narrow it down…”

Back-to-school

If you’re going back to school, you probably already know about one of the newest fashion resources on the scene. Teen Vogue launched its Instagram account called Her Platform this spring, celebrating street style as an empowering – and comfortable – individual interpretation of fashion. A skim through the account shows a youthful adaptation of the plaid in the menswear-inspired runway collections. It’s paired with the account’s pervasive sneakers and comfortable athletic wear. There’s plenty of denim, joggers and logo tees, too, but we think you’ll pick up on a little plaid for fall. They’re also playing with the statement socks found in many collections.

Have fun with the cowboy influence, too. Consider wearing a shirt with chest pockets with last year’s flower-child ruffles. They’ve stayed on trend, thanks to the folklore patterns seen on this season’s runways.

Fashion tip: this year is all about personal style, but if you haven’t already, celebrate fashion’s nod to comfort by latching on to “sneaker culture.” Accessorize almost any look with cute ankle socks and your favorite brand of sporty footwear to stay on trend. Perfect for brisk walks to your next class!

Career women and moms on the go

Whether you’re dressing to impress for your boardroom presentation or keeping your chin up while herding tantrum-troubled toddlers through the mall, red is this fall’s go-to power color. Wear it on your nails, buy a pair of red pumps or go bold with a red suit. It’s the rebirth of a classic and you can almost feel the energy from an emboldening red outfit.

Plaid translates well for the workplace, too, especially in suiting. A plaid jacket is a good investment this season. Pair it with trousers for the office, then change into skinny jeans for cocktails with friends. It’s also the season to mix patterns and textures. Pair a floral scarf with your plaid jacket at work, then try it with a striped shirt for playdates with the kiddos.

Fashion tip: when you’re experimenting with pattern, make sure you have at least one neutral element in your ensemble to anchor your look, like a white t-shirt. Two big patterns might distract your coworkers, but pair a small floral with stripes or plaid to look like you know what you’re doing.

Fashionable empty nesters

You have more time to go out with your friends now, and it’s fun to play with fashion. You’re never too old to keep up with trends and if your lifestyle has made fashion more accessible, perhaps you can invest in a quality piece or two to keep your wardrobe current. We think some of you may scoff at the 80s redux looks, particularly the giant shoulder pads straight out of the Dynasty and Dallas television era. But the updated animal prints are approachable, and we like the idea of mixing patterns a bit for you, too. One of our favorite elements of the 80s reboot is the revamp of ruched details. They’re flattering and adaptable to lots of body shapes.

Fashion tip: take a sleeveless, ruched jersey dress from work to evening by swapping out a short, tailored jacket for bare arms and a delicate layered necklace. Pair it with sneakers and a denim jacket for shopping.

Vogue claims designers are “taking up the call for a new practicality… don’t you just want a coat that makes you feel strong, a dress that lets you feel powerfully sexy, or a shirt that turns up your mood?…” One Vogue headline summed it up for us: “The Allure of Clothes You Can Actually Wear.” Jodi curates that sensibility at Willa June. “The best styling tip I can give anyone is to make sure that you’re comfortable.” She also suggests investing in a few really good pieces you can wear for years to anchor your wardrobe. Her boutique offers soft, comfortable items that can be dressed up or down. She’s also proud that her aesthetic appeals to a wide age range. Her pieces are so beautiful, women don’t feel like they are too young or too old for Willa June. She accessorizes her collection with quality leather handbags, shares her affinity for daintily simple jewelry and stocks up on backpacks for her back-to-school shoppers. Visit Jodi at Willa June in Victoria for the prettiest collection of fall fashion we’ve seen. Details at shopwillajune.com