Spotted: 'Gossip Girl' setting the trend for fall

Friday, August 29, 2008

Want a "Gossip Girl"-styled wardrobe for fall and you don't know where to start?

A stylish back-to-school wardrobe needn't break the bank. Gloria Baume, Teen Vogue's fashion director, thinks crafty teens can find a lot for $100 to $250.

Baume suggested mixing preowned items with pieces picked up at mass retailers like Forever21 or Charlotte Russe, which offer cheap version of party dresses often seen on "Gossip Girl."

"If you do a little vintage, do a little H&M, do a little Target, especially there's the new Richard Chai collection right now," she said of the retailer's latest designer collaboration. "There's a lot of places out there to buy great things at a budget."

Here are some other tips on getting the look:

THE VIBE

"I think one of the things I love about 'Gossip Girl' is that it's not just preppy, it's super preppy," said Keith Carollo, buyer for fredflare.com. "Take it a little farther. Super-geek it out."

He recommended suspenders, bow ties, handkerchiefs and grosgrain belts for boys, and a pair of glasses reminiscent of Buddy Holly's frames. "That's a really easy way to add a more nerdy dressed-up kind of Clark Kent look," he said.

Dialing up the fashion volume through mixing prints will be strong among girls as well, Baume said. "(It's) what I call the mismatched lady trend, and basically it is in one outfit there's a stripe, a floral, and some weird kooky plaid. So it's like putting a lot of elements together, but at the same time."

UPDATE YOUR LOOK:

Baume recommended a list of six items for girls: a pouffy mini skirt, a cropped tuxedo jacket, a small ankle boot with hardware and an oversized messenger bag that's worn across the body. She also suggests "a cropped skinny jean or a high-waisted 70s jean, but it depends on what your body type is."

Carollo likes lumberjack plaid in every form, plus "a pencil skirt, a pair of jeans, a nice belt," or suspenders for both genders. "For the girls, we're seeing a lot of little necklaces with little charms," he said. "I see Jenny [Taylor Momsen] wear them on the show."

He also suggests bold colors for boys, which he said can be from T-shirts by American Apparel made "in all kinds of colors." Garth Mader, the director of buying at Endless.com, suggested fashion boots that boys can wear with trousers and girls can wear with dresses.

"I think it's a good investment, because there's a lot of kids who can wear a boot four or five different ways, four or five times a week," he said. For parents on a budget, he said ankle-length boots tend to be less expensive than boots with a tall shaft.

RAID SOMEONE ELSE'S CLOSET:

If money is an issue, Baume said refurbishing a younger sibling's clothes is an inexpensive way to get this fall's fitted, cropped looks.

"Maybe find something that is old or your little brother's or something, and add some patches, make it yours," she said. "Add a little bit of trim, be creative."

AND IF YOU WANT THE REAL THING:

"Gossip Girl" costume designer Eric Daman says the characters will be sporting brands like Philip Lim, Vena Cava, Alexander Wang, Loden Dager and Rag & Bone. "Dan only wears Marc Jacobs and John Varvatos," he said. (And Dan, played by Penn Badgley, is the poor one.)

Also look for anything with "grey sharkskins, sequined tweeds, architectural drama," Daman adds.

And for those who can't find the brands at their local malls, Daman notes that the website for the show's television network, The CW, has links to purchase items featured in episodes.

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