Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Trends with Brooke Jaffe - Part 1

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Bloomingdale's Spring Trend lunch with host Brooke Jaffe, Fashion Director of accessories and shoes.  Not only did I get to see an incredible presentation on what to look for this season but I was also able to spend a few minutes prior with Brooke to ask some questions on what we are seeing in stores, along with what to expect this upcoming Fall.  Because there are just too many great things to share, I am going to share everything in two posts.  Here is the first part, the interview.

First things first.  How long have you been in the fashion industry?
I have worked in fashion for 11 years.  I began my career at Vogue as the Assistant to the Accessories Director.  After that I moved to InStyle as the Associate Accessories Editor and later moved into the role of Accessories Editor.  After InStyle I moved to Bloomingdale's where I have been for 4 1/2 years.

What are we going to see in stores this Spring season?
With regards to accessories and shoes, you are going to see a lot of ballet flats, kitten heels and color, color, color!  Color is the biggest update for Spring but it doesn't have to be obvious.  It is the time to begin incorporating color combinations into your wardrobe, two at a time.  I am loving cobalt blue with coral and hot pink with yellow.  For example, if last season you were wearing cobalt blue jeans with a white t-shirt, this season, add a neon skinny belt or sandals in color.  You can embrace the color combination trend without going over the top.  You are also going to see earrings making a big comeback this season.  From Betty Draper buttons to chandeliers, earrings are the statement piece to add to your ensemble.  Aqua (exclusive to Bloomingdale's) has some great pieces along those lines.  I also love colored, stacked bangles.  Finally, totes are a perfect statement piece to incorporate color without going over the top.  A tote in lime green is a great example of this.

Do you find that fashion is drastically different between Los Angeles and New York?
It depends.  For example, we see a lot more color year round in the West due to the weather.  In the end though, if a fashion trend is on the runway, you will see it from coast to coast.

For the woman who loves her Tory Burch flats but wants a change from the expected, what would you recommend?
There are so many great options in flats right now.  Sam Edelman has a great lace up oxford, which is a style you are going to see a lot this upcoming Fall too.  Menswear is a trend that continues and will lead your flats from Spring to Fall.

When investing in accessories what are your thoughts on the value of the investment?
A classic handbag is always in style, but it is also functional.  You will definitely get your use out of it.  When it comes to shoes, a great shoe can transform any outfit and completely change it from day to night.  I also believe in making an investment in great ready-to-wear because those pieces will last forever.

You mentioned previously that menswear is going to be big this Fall.  What other trends are we going to see this year?
You are going to continue to see color but it will be transitioned towards more of a jeweled tone.  Ox blood, navy and emerald green are going to be everywhere.  Leather will continue to be on trend but it will veer away from black and tan.  You are going to see colored leather in these jeweled tones as well.  Fur is also back in a big way.  You will also see the influence of aristocracy from todays aristocrats like Kate Middleton to shows such as Downton Abbey.  Classic sophistication is definitely "in".

One personal question.  What is your most coveted piece in your closet?
This is a hard one.  I would have to say the bracelet I received from my Grandmother and my Sergio Rossi boots.  They are my go-to.  When I put them on, everything looks better.

Beyond the above questions, Brooke and I had great small talk on fashion as a whole and what we love about it.  She was a pleasure to speak with and I walked away wishing I had her job (who wouldn't!).  Tomorrow you will get to see all the pictures from the lunch!


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