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Ken's Picks: Our Fashion Director Ken Downing's Favorites


My life is a constant conundrum—fueled by the frenzy of fashion that appears each season on the world's runways. Noteworthy, yet no nonsense. The personal dilemma I create for myself is having the eyes of an editor and the mind of a retailer.

Inevitably, I win fashion's wrestling match of what's wrong and what's right. Clear vision, clear thinking, and clear understanding of what makes men and women look their best keep me focused—and never confused. When I think back to the early images that informed my opinions of style, I realize that there are very few new ideas. The basic premise of fashion design is built upon the human body. It's the proportion, the silhouette, the manipulation of fabric that bring both change and the element of newness. What makes a moment fresh is the lens through which we look at the past to inform our future. It's the unapologetic mix-and-match of the moment that translates as modern—the reinvention of how we put things together, the changing tides of taste and style, and the breaking of rules that at one time seemed so steadfast.

As I'm returning from the Autumn/Winter 2015-2016 collections that have just been presented, the designers' current obsession with the '70s for spring continues into fall. Midi and maxi hemlines, flared pants topped with tunics, handcrafted crewel embroideries, patchwork and fringe, a folkloric romance that melds delicate Victorian details of lace and passementerie—all signify the changing tides of our fashion times. The shift in silhouette and attitude that is on the horizon will beg your eye to adjust to these new ideas. (For example, there's virtually nothing a boot or bootie on a sturdy chunky heel can't solve!)

Happily, the tides have began to turn this spring! Being your best Bohemian now will help you prepare to be your fabulous folkloric self for fall.

So let's relish the past and redefine our future with the confidence that personal style gives us!