Detail-oriented |


Laura A. Ball
A model sports a creation by French fashion designer Frank Sorbier during the presentation of his Fall/Winter 2005/06 Haute Couture collection in Paris, Friday, July 8, 2005. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

As fall and winter fashion take over the runways in Paris, excessive mixing-and-matching, layering and “magpie” styling comes into play. Fashion is one big art project and the tools of ornamentation and embellishment include intricate embroidery, sequins, jewels, patchwork, mirrorwork, crochet, macrame, floral garlands, lace overlay, trimming and any other fancy odds and ends you can gather. It’s not about looking perfectly polished all the time, it’s about looking perfectly messy and feminine.

Designers got carried away at the haute couture showing in Paris this week, leaving nothing to the imagination. They went straight to the archives labeled luxury and draped layers upon layers of rich, soft fabrics over the models. It’s the perfect time to pull out things in your closet that you haven’t worn in years. When you layer, the more eclectic the better. But there’s an art to it. The pieces can’t match too well, but they can’t disagree.

Most likely, your ensemble will not extend the realm of fantasy French runway looks do, so use your imagination when your recreate them.Try stripes with florals. Mix masculine and feminine. Wear beaded everything. Combine rich fabrics. To keep everything looking effortless and organic, pay attention to color and shape. Avant shades of white are especially hot come fall.

Have fun with fashion this season. Play dress-up. Don’t take anything seriously, except details.Arts & Entertainment Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 619, or

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