By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
If ever there were a fashion season where anything goes, it is the new fall/winter trends for 2019/2020.
Basically, it is a do-your-own-thing type of season, where whatever your personal tastes and style may be, you can pretty much count yourself as in fashion.
What can you expect to see worn by Mexico’s well-dressed fashionistas?
You’ll see a lot of retro – rebirthing the styles of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and even the 1990s.
But you will also see a lot of futuristic designs and materials, as well as pieces that seem to be from no time whatsoever – and maybe not even created for human life on Earth.
Capes will be in, and furs will definitely be out (a nod to political correctness and the Humane Society).
Kinky little details – whether they be miniscule change purses connected to the garments as external pockets or over-the-top ruffles and frills – will draw attention to the wearer.
And gender-neutral styles (very big the last few seasons) will be replaced by ultra-feminine silhouettes and classic manly cuts.
Textures? Take your pick of soft, silky satins or bulky, heavy tweeds. Or maybe a combination of both. Mix-and-match textures, prints, and styles will be chic (think cocktail gowns with tennis shoes, tuxedo jackets with sweatpants).
This season’s hemlines will run the gamut from so-short-it-looks-like-a-blouse to dragging on the floor maxis.
The color palettes include an entire rainbow of shades, and patterns are either very subtle or in-your-face glaring (tiny checkered prints and massive florals).
So, with that in mind, here are some of what you can expect on Mexico’s runways and walkways in the months ahead, based on a multi-label trunk show presented in late August by the very upscale Retail Fashion Group at Mexico City’s Four Seasons Hotel:
Heading up the Retail Fashion Group trunk show was the new collection from AllSaints, a British fashion house headquartered in London with a key connection to pop culture.
A favorite of young U.S. and British celebrities, the brand, which has been around since 1994, is definitely aimed at a younger crowd.
For women, there were belted leopard prints with full-flowing skirts midi skirts (paired with combat boots) and muted floral dresses layered over comfy white cotton long-sleeved T-shirts.
There were also plenty of in-your-face black-and-white plaids and hearted chiffon blouses that added a feminine touch to jeans and tennis shoes, as well as denim jumpsuits.
For men, there were loose-fitting pants in neutrals blacks, grays and browns, worn super-short so that white gym socks were in plain view, and short-sleeved shirts with bright dots and prints of tigers topped with leather bomber jackets.
As for shoes, there were eye-catching pointed-toe snake boots, as well as the previously mentioned boxy black combat boots, suitable for either sex.
There were also oversized sweatshirts and rugged denim pants in a range of colors.
This was a fall/winter collection, but the items in it were light and airy, and even the name of the collection had a not-ready-for-winter tone: Summer in the City.
The AllSaints collection was big on layering, allowing pieces that might not usually work in cooler months to function perfectly as exposed undergarments.
Next up was a preview of what the Spanish firm El Ganso will be offering up for fall and winter.
This line was much more preppy and business-oriented, with smartly tailored suits for both men and women.
It was also more suited to cold weather wear.
The pieces were classic, but with a contemporary flair that made them youthful and current.
Stark navy blue was a prevailing color, tempered with subdued red and white stripes and checks.
Plaids and houndstooth were also big at El Ganso, often in bright shades of red, blue, green and even orange.
Warm, comfy peacoats with keep-the-wind-out latches and warm, snuggly pullover sweaters completed the look for a get-down-to-business seriousness with a millennial attitude.
Maje — a relatively new brand spearheaded by Judith Milgrom, a Parisian with Moroccan roots — stayed true to the bohemian stilt that has guided the label since its founding in 1998.
Animal prints and feminine cuts prevailed in Maje’s fall/winter collection, titled “My Dog and I.”
There was nothing subtle or understated in the collection.
Bright red plaid trousers were combined with a red and white striped pullover.
A billowy, floral, split-level gypsy skirt was matched with black over-the-knee boots with chunky heels and a black motorcycle jacket.
A white 60s-style minidress and white flat ankle booties were given a modern update with an bulky cream overcoat.
A short, glittery gold metallic sheathe was worn over a straight-laced, business-minded white shirt.
These were pieces that are meant to stand out and to grab attention for the wearer, which is probably why most of Maje’s new lookbook showed the models taking selfies of themselves in an elevator, with or sans their puppy as costars.
Maje’s Judith Milgram got her her knack for style from her big sister Evelyne Chétrite, the created and runs the more sophisticated brand Sandro.
If Maje is about standing out and making a statement, Sandro is more about looking chic even when your hair is uncombed and you basically threw on the first thing you found in your closet.
Sandro’s new fall/winter collection could best be described as style with an attitude, and had a vintage feel that beckoned back to the 1980s in the American southwest, for both men and women.
Burly faux sheepskin jackets were matched with cotton dresses with prints of cowboy boots.
A black-and-white tweed coat was piled over a checkered shirt on top of a neon pink T.
Neutral beiges, purples and dark grays and black dominated the collection, and there was fringe everywhere, lot and lots of fringe.
And rodeo-style boots gave a Tejano lift to brocaded dresses and lacy blouses.
For those with a yearning for the 1960s, Scalpers — a Spanish brand founded in 2007 that focuses primarily on menswear — presented a super-clean collection that would appeal to any “Alfie” fan.
These classic, no-nonsense garments covered an entire spectrum of male life, from officewear suits to smart casual garments that could easily transition into any wardrobe.
With the exception of an occasional printed T-shirt or a sweater with the figure of a dog on the front, the pieces were all uncluttered solid colors (no prints, no checks) in neutral shades (there was a sweater in burned orange) that could mix-and-match with one another.
Rich, luxurious textures of combed virgin wool and unfettered cotton displayed timeless refinement.
A plaid tweed overcoat that went with everything in the collection gave a feel of European distinction to this handsome Scalpers line.
Also present at the Retail Fashion Group trunk show was Silver Deer, a posh multi-label boutique at the high-end Artz Pedregal shopping mall in the south of Mexico City.
Opened in 2018, the store carries a variety of designer brands for men and women, including Lanvin, Ami, Oﬃcine Generale, Ulla Johnson, Stone Island, The Gigi, Barena, Luciano Barbera, Thom Browne, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, Tibi, Comme De Garcons Play, Maison Margiela and Golden Goose.
And while not strictly fashion, wrapping up the Retail Fashion Group trunk show was a presentation of the latest plushy creations from Hamleys, the magical British toy store that has been delighting children from 1 to 101 since 1760.
The display included an entire zoo of Hamleys stuffed animals scattered about in a pseudo jungle of live shrubbery, and was — perhaps much to the dismay of the participating garment houses — the undisputed center of attention for everyone who attended the show (after all, who doesn’t love plushy animal toys, and no one makes better plushies than Hamleys).
There were lions and tigers and bears, oh my … and parrots in palm trees and meercats at full attention, guarding the entrance to the plushy terraza.
There were also baby gorillas, tiny elephants, a giant panther, a stately, long-necked giraffe and an entire wall of teddy bears.
Renowned for its quality toys, the hands-on experiences that offer children the chance to play with life-size Lego figures and kid-friendly staff, often dressed as fictional characters, Hamleys flagship store on London’s Regent Street has become a tourist destination, and for those who cannot get there, the Artz Pedregal branch is as close to toy heaven as any kid in Mexico can hope to get.