The 12 Extraordinary Fall Fashion Finds

Charles de Vilmorin Multicolored Faces long padded coat

September is always the best month. It is a time of rejuvenation. The city comes to life, and everything starts again. But not this September. Jason Gay’s article that ran in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal, “September Feels Like March, and It’s Very Very Sad.” says it all. I agree with Gay’s assertion that “September 2020 sucks”, trapping us all in a “big blurry month of soul-crushing sludge.” He has renamed September “Marchtober”.

But, even though everything has changed and will continue to do so, September signals the start of another fashion cycle. The upcoming spring 2021 collections are, in one form or another, beginning September 13th. The weather is turning cooler, which makes the idea of getting dressed appealing again.

Fashion has the power to uplift and inspire. Now is a great time to experiment with favorite pieces in your closet or shop for something new. I’m always searching. My 12 extraordinary finds are a mix of vintage and modern. You don’t need a special occasion to wear them. As Cara Delevingne says: “These days, every moment is a fashion moment”. Touche.

The 23-year old designer, Charles de Vilmorin, made his debut on Instagram on June 1st. His genderless fall collection comprises colorful quilted jackets and coats with patchwork faces and flowers hearts paired with hand-painted leggings. It recalls Christian Lacroix and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, both fans of the young designer. One of my favorites is the colorful long padded coat. Hand printed and topstitched, and made of waterproof polyester.

I believe this coat would be perfect on a dark, gloomy cold winter day. Accessorize with black biker boots or boots on a thick tread sole to downplay and make it more streetwise. The coat is truly one of a kind. It sells for $1,543 and is available on

Rick Owens Naska shearling and leather jacket

Like this deconstructed Naska jacket, experimental silhouettes, made from grained lambskin leather with tonal shearling trim and an oversized shell collar and cape, are a staple at Rick Owens. Silver-toned studs and zippers point to the brand’s glamour-meets-grunge aesthetic. Priced at $4,420 it is available on

Christian Dior by John Galliano hooded tweed jacket and skirt Fall 1998

The spectacular mustard tweed quilted jacket for Christian Dior by John Galliano (Fall/Winter 1998) has an accentuated waist, oversized fox fur hood, and detachable knitted sleeves. The full-length fishtail skirt with lame silk lining is in a mint green tweed. Dress it down with flat boots, or dress it up in high heels. It is priced at $17,739.91 and for sale at

Dries Van Noten silk brocade maxi skirt

Dries Van Noten’s silk-blend brocade skirt is a study in textured elegance. Gathered and draped, it falls to the ground from a high-rise in a design illustrated in gold and silver florals. It’s louche and glamorous, but there is relaxed ease to the design, making it perfect for lounging at home when you feel like dressing up. It sells for $1980 and is available at

Yohji Yamamoto black gabardine coat with exaggerated pockets

Yohji Yamamoto’s black wool gabardine maxi coat, shown the Fall Winter 2004 runway in Paris, is pure Yamamoto, a true collectors’ item. What makes this so sensational are belt buckle fastenings on the waist and the neck, and the exaggerated external flap pockets. How practical! You do not need to carry a bag. The same coat is in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum archives. It is priced at $6140 and available for sale at

Loie sculpted knit dress

A few months ago, someone on the news reported that the three most popular purchases were mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, and sweatpants. Indeed, the average adult has gained some weight due to the pandemic. Khaite’s strapless Loie dress beacons us to stay healthy and get in shape.

The dress is constructed of finely ribbed matte viscose, selected for its stretch and structure. It has a slim fit with a sweetheart neckline and side slits at the hem. I love that it can be worn bare or layered over a t-shirt, button-down, or turtleneck when you want more coverage. It sells for $1050 and is available on

Co long black gabardine blazer and matching black gabardine trousers

CO Collection’s classic tailored coat and matching trousers makes the perfect uniform. Made of gabardine with peak lapel, single button closure, front flap pockets, back vent, and a seam at the waist for added shape it is basic un-basic. The coat sells for $1395 and the high waist patch pocket trousers are $825. Both are available at

PETER DO X MEDEA Chocolate Alligator Laundry Bag

Peter Do is one of the nominees for the 2020 CFDA American Emerging Designer of the Year Award. This chocolate, everyday tote, is slouchy and luxurious. It was shown in Peter’s recent spring 2021 ready-to-wear collection. He is the first American designer to present a spring 2021 line. The price is $1500, and it is available for pre-order at

PETER DO Pearl Shearling Car Seat Biker Jacket

Peter Do’s “Car Seat” Shearling Jacket in pearl (white) is very distinctive. It has seam detailing, a collar strap, and a waist belt in black leather. Made of suede with shearling paneling at the front, full shearling back, and zipper pockets, and priced at $3,600.00 is for sale at

Sterling Ruby’s magnificent debut collection, S.R. Studio. L.A. C.A. was shown last year in Florence, Italy. It was highly acclaimed, proving a hunger and thirst for joyfully exuberant clothes yet brooding, streetwise, and wearable but artistic and highly idiosyncratic. It also points to a wide-ranging appreciation for the craft that is authentic.

10-S-R-Studio hand bleached poncho Spring-2020 Menswear

One real standout was the group of dyed and collaged ponchos shown with coordinating jeans, handmade by Ruby himself. They are all unique and one of a kind, akin to Haute Couture. One poncho is currently selling for $1450 on

Phoebe Philo might not be currently designing, but if you are lucky, you can find some of her signature pieces for sale. This “Cornely” embroidered runway coat, shown on the Celine Fall 2015 runway in Paris, is made of wool and silk with a shearling collar and fox fur hem.

Embroidered shearling coat by Phoebe Philo for Celine

This coat is the actual piece worn on the runway. It is unlined with French seams, removable collar, and pockets at the hip. Made in France, the coat retailed for $27,100. It sells for $14.500 and is available to purchase at

The Davis Boot in zebra haircalf

Catherine Holstein, Kaite’s creative director, says that she wanted to create “the perfect everyday boot- the one to wear with everything”. Made in Italy of zebra-striped haircalf, these chic, streamlined square-toed pull-on boots assuredly fit the bill. Diana Vreeland would approve. They sell for $1800 and are exclusive on

Vintage sequined Looney Tunes jacket by Jeanette Kastenberg for St. Martin

It is important to keep things light and have a sense of humor these days. I dare you not to smile when you see this 90’s “Looney Tunes” jacket featuring Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. Made by Jeanette Kastenberg for St. Martin, this rare designer piece is fully embellished with vibrant sequins on the front and back. Perfect with jeans! Priced at $2,691 it is for sale at

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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