fashion night in

In my closet, that is.

September marks the start of new beginnings for so many facets of life – cleaning out and replenishing the wardrobe being one of those things.

It’s no wonder that the largest issue of fashion mags/catalogs are the September issues and that the infamous Fashion Night Out is held annually the second week of the ninth month of the year on the streets of NYC and, increasingly, in other metropoli around the globe.

Which is why my new aspiration – to refrain from purchasing a single stitch of clothing or strand of jewelry this autumn – is that much more difficult for a girl who loves to be ahead of the curve well before the road signs start popping up.

Luckily, this innate ability of mine to predict trends based on sheer interest and intrigue (it really does come naturally;  you’ll remember who first wore flared jeans in sixth grade and capris in seventh and headscarves in eighth. For two weeks you whispered about how my hemlines were all wrong and then the latest issue of Seventeen came out and your lips were sealed and your cheecks ruddy. I remember!).

And so my pledge, (less difficult since the new Missoni for Target Collection sold out nationwide), will be without total heartache for I’ve already snatched up, fashioned and ripped from the depths of my closet the trends on point for this Autumn 2011.

Behold, the Native American lookbook, with colors and prints evoking nostalgia for a time of rugged bravery and manifest destiny. Personally, this style resonates with me and my fond memories of Girl Scout camping in the early fall, at sites named after local Eastern Pennsylvania and Jersey tribes.

Regardless of your memories or knowledge of the Cherokee Tribe in Paul Revere and the Raider’s Indian Nation, your perspectives on the Trail of Tears or National Park development on sacred burial grounds, you can wear this season’s looks as an activist, a fashionista or both.

Put the look together and walk out the door sans Pocahontas Halloween costume by way of flowing knits with Marni-esque patterning in earthy hues like cinnamon and clay dashed with pops of turquoise and pumpkin. Get to your local on-point hairdresser for feathers (combine crimped in feathers with a touch of red highlights or all-over color, like I did above, to really warm up your look), or make a statement with your jewelry (search for bronze cast feathers, like the earrings, above center, by Honey and Hive, from, or fashion a pair from actual feathers, handmade by moiabove left). Offset a screaming amber or ruby red with neutrals that flatter summer’s fading tan.

Take a look at my picks for fall, sourced from my current wardrobe.

Essentially, you want to channel the mood of the purple plains and blue mountains without being overt. Nothing flashy (save a teensy sparkle for nights on the town), or avant garde, just the natural, romantic feeling that crisp fall days call for.

So, go ahead, pile it on, but heed the eternally stylish Coco Chanel’s advice: before you leave the house, take one thing off.

Enjoy this month of fashion and stay tuned for amped up coverage from your number one culture-vulture fashionista AliThe Architect!

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