TORONTO - Followers of fashion may be experiencing a bit of deja vu when perusing some of the latest offerings in womenswear for fall.
Styles such as peplums and coloured denim that made a splash during the warmer months still have a prominent presence on the racks with autumn's arrival. But the brighter shades that loomed large during spring and summer are making way for a wide array of apparel steeped in darker hues.
Julia Seidl, fashion and beauty editor for Hello! Canada, said rich, wine-coloured shades like bordeaux and oxblood have emerged as go-to hues on both the runway and the red carpet.
"It's kind of a deeper take on the red that was so big last fall — just a deeper, saturated hue."
Metallics made a similar splash on the catwalk now translating to the store shelves, most notably gold, with embellishments popping up on knitwear, handbags and shoes, said Seidl.
From Hollywood stars to royalty, peplums have been prominent on the style scene this year with the Duchess of Cambridge and actresses Mila Kunis and Zoe Saldana among those seen sporting the ultra- feminine look.
The ruffle or short overskirt that attaches the waistline of jacket, blouse or dress is back for fall. Also emerging for the new season are versatile tunic-style dresses which can be layered with a turtleneck and worn with a blazer, said Winners spokeswoman Colleen Uncao.
As individuals transition from lighter colours and lighter-weight apparel in the summer, they'll want to transform their wardrobe with neutral and darker shades, noted Sonya Easterbrook, marketing specialist for Levi's.
"For us, the colours for fall were really inspired in earth tones and jewels, lots of rich greens and deep blues in the blue jean and ... plum, camel and indigo blue are really bases for us," she said in an interview at the brand's fall preview. "And then we have some fun prints in there also to give us a little pop and a little more fashion."
Uncao said familiar autumnal colours such as purples, oranges and browns will return for the season, and that "vegetable tones" lending a colourful boost to classic fall staples.
"Usually your pencil skirts are more traditional, more black or tweed; but this year, if you're going to wear colour, you can wear it on the bottom as well," she said at the Winners fall preview. Women can even pair their brightly-hued skirt or pant with a coloured blazer, she noted.
Coloured bottoms that veer towards the more casual are also being threaded into the fall wardrobe.
"In the past, it's been all about the blue jean and the black jean. Now, you've got prints and colours and different textures, trouser jeans," said Easterbook. "It's an opportunity for self-expression in a refined, clean way."
Seidl said she loves the idea of wearing printed jeans as well as coloured denim in darker, more saturated shades like bordeaux, eggplant or mustard as a way to diversify fall style. Silk blouses are also cranking up the colour, featured in solids as well as python and geometric prints, she noted.
Despite the strong emphasis on colour in both apparel and accessories, Uncao said black is back in a big way for fall, pointing to the prominence of leather — and not just jackets.
"Now you're seeing it panelled in skirts, dresses, you're seeing it on the sides of pants; so a lot more refined," Uncao said. "You can wear leather into daytime a lot more than you could before.
One way to incorporate the sleek material into work wear could be pairing a pleated, pencil leather skirt with a little white shirt, she noted.
The hems are rising on some new pant styles being ushered in for the fall, with shorter "ankle biters" exposing a bit of skin and sock emerging as an alternative to longer pants, Uncao said.
"There are some that are a lot more slimmer and there's some that are the slouchy, rolled up (variety)," she said of the style. "It's great because it gives you the ability to do a little bootie, it gives you the ability to do a fun little sock....You can kind of layer it a little bit, so it's a lot of fun."
Cosy knits which are a wardrobe essential during far cooler weather conditions feature prominently in the fall fashion story.
In addition cable knits, Uncao said the new varieties feature a lot of crocheting, heavier gauges and lengths spanning from cropped styles to longer coats. Popcorn knits, capes and ponchos are in the mix, along with distinctive detailing like draping or shawl collars on cardigans, she noted.
And no need to worry about bidding adieu to wearing white now that Labour Day has come and gone. The fashion rule pertaining to packing away cream-coloured clothes as summer winds down won't be a concern with the presence of winter whites in the wardrobe.
"It's not so much the crisp, crisp white that you see in the summer but more of the cream and more of the warmer shades of white," said Seidl.
"Obviously, you're not wearing your linens anymore; instead, you're looking for mohair or softer wools or just heavier-weighted fabrics into wearing your whites."