Ceremonially somber fall clothing, meet 2009.
Something is beckoning us to break out of our recessionista funk, to kick our hunkered-down mentality, at least sartorially, to the curb. There's whimsy in the air, a playfulness that inspired Dolce & Gabbana to send models down the fall runway wearing gloves as hats and scarves.
Expect lots of twists this autumn: leggings of black lace, shoes of vampy velvet, oversized wraps that are more cocoon than outerwear, studs on everything from jackets to purses. You'll find fur, too.
The fashion gods want us to play, so they've brought back the most Day-Glo decade of all: the 1980s.
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(From those of us who wore this stuff the first time around: Gee, thanks.)
Jackets and dresses have strong, exaggerated shoulders, just as they did when Joan Collins ruled "Dynasty." Leggings and bustiers are sequined. Minidresses have pouffy skirts.
The season's diverse colors - warm olive, soft purple, honey yellow, soft pink, earthy orange, wearable red, plus neutrals, neons and metallics - signal that versatility and originality trump tradition.
Those feeling flirty can don a sexy, one-shouldered dress or slip into a blouse that's slit, slashed or cut to show off the shoulders.
In fact, there's plenty of sleeve action in shapely leg-of-muttons and oversized batwings. (Disco ball not included.)
The stripes of summer have been set aside for more seasonal-appropriate patterns: animal prints, schoolgirl plaids (an autumnal staple) and feminine paisleys.
Speaking of feminine, dresses and blouses are beautifully draped this fall.
And how much more womanly can you get than a jacket with skirted detail? It's called peplum, and its effect is promising.
Yes, autumn has arrived.
And from the look of things, it's a great year to fall in love with fashion all over again.