“Do the Math”

Last week, I attended the Neiman Marcus Accessories Press Preview (organized by Gabrielle DePapp, Vice President Corporate Public Relations and Sandra Wilson, Accessories Fashion Director). I always look forward to this popular event, which enables members of the press to get an up close and personal look at the best of fashion accessories for the coming season. How perfect the spring viewing is, coming as it does just as the festive holiday season has gotten under way. Talk about fabulous eye candy!

The glorious hand picked merchandise ‘strewn’ around the duplex suite at the Chambers Hotel (the venue of choice) seems to mimic the fabulous store windows and luxurious displays which beacon both serious customers and window shoppers alike as they make their way up and down 5th Avenue, Madison Avenue, and 57th street. And as always, Sandra Wilson, is spirited and enthusiastic as she walks through the vignettes, espousing the luxury chain’s most important themes for the coming season, while making her own fashion accessory statement ( (this time she was clad in holiday perfect all black punctuated with a pair of enviably chic vintage Dominique Aurientis cuffs).)

So, what’s the ‘news’ for spring 2008? According to Ms. Wilson, it’s all about “equations”. “Color plus color equals spring (their major theme); color plus artistry equals spring; color plus global equals spring; color plus femininity equals spring”. As you can see, it’s not just about equations, but color – and lots of it.

Neiman’s most important color story (and everyone else’s it seems), is the entire citrus range of sunny yellows and orange (the latter of which Ms. Wilson prefers to call “coral”). This was displayed in the first vignette as you entered the room and had me silently humming the tune “Let the sunshine in” (though “Here comes the sun” works just as well). Featured were shoes from Roger Vivier and Miu Miu, and bags from Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch and Prada. Mixed in were accessories in beige (or nude), which is THE ‘new neutral’ and look particularly great as a foil against strong and vibrant color.

Speaking of color, metallic color (and pink gold) is another strong theme, as well as color blocking (exemplified by the Prada color blocked ribbon bag on display) and the entire range of pinks to purples to fuchsias (especially, the arresting use of fluorescent pink). The definitive pieces here are the Christian Louboutin bag, the Chanel cap toe ballet flat, the Tory Burch pink floral thong, the mini ‘Downtown’ red patent and mini ‘Uptown’ degrade bags from YSL, the color blocked bag from Prada, shoes from Diane Von Furstenberg (brand new this season), and Emilio Pucci.

Up the stairs, the shoes on display told another important story (artistry and ‘painterly’) which was exemplified by the open toed, open heeled oxfords and the architectural heels from such iconic brands and important vendors as Sergio Rossi, Roger Vivier, Gucci, Marni, Chloe, and 6267 (new this season).

The story unfolded on the second floor where a large bed was filled with pieces which spoke of globalization (bearing traces of India and Africa and relying on the mix of texture and color). Among the goodies in this grouping were an eye-catching 3.1 Phillip Lim striped bag, distinctive bracelets from Matthew Laurenza, Lee Angel, and Nancy Gonzales, Stephen Dweck beads, sunglasses from Oliver Peoples, shoes from Stella McCartney, and a turquoise laden pendant and cuff from Badgley Mischka’s new collection of accessories. Ms. Wilson deemed the “important short chunky necklace” and the bracelet as two very important jewelry trends going into spring. Another important trend is the medium sized bag (a very chic line up was displayed along the window sill), and Ms. Wilson decreed them as looking “very fresh” after all those huge and oversized totes.

The display set up in the bathroom spoke volumes about femininity with its emphasis on gold and rose gold, flowers and floral decorated pieces, and ruching. Standouts in this group included the rose decorated thongs from Giuseppe Zanotti, the nylon petal bag from Marni, gold bags from Leiber, Prada, and Fendi (including their new baguette re-launch), gold high heeled sandals from Manolo Blahnik, and a nude patent Dorsay pump by Michael Kors.

To sum up, this is the Neiman Marcus Accessories ‘Hit List’ for spring 2008:

Color (with an emphasis on citrus shades of yellow, coral, and orange; pinks (particularly fluorescent pink); purples; Kelly green.
Colored metallics
Color Blocking
Gold and pink gold
Beige (or nude) used as an accent against color (the new neutral)
Clear accessories used with color
Patent leather
Flowers (flower decorated shoes and bags) and floral prints
The open heeled, open toed high heeled oxford
The “important” short, chunky necklace
The bracelet
The large over sized sunglass
The medium sized tote (or satchel)
Anything in turquoise (NM loves both the color AND the jewelry)
The global view (texture and color mixing with hints of Africa and India) as it pertains to bags, shoes, jewelry, scarves

And speaking of ‘doing the math’….this year Neiman Marcus is celebrating their 100th anniversary and to mark the occasion, attendees to the accessories press preview were given something to remember the date by: Neiman Marcus’s famed oversized chocolate chip cookie with the ‘secret’ recipe attached (I guess it’s not a ‘secret’ any more); and the commemorative coffee table “Neiman Marcus Pop Up Book”.

-Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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