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Fall Style

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Brimming With Style

If fall's ubiquitous cossack hat leaves you feeling like Yakov Smirnoff, relax. Another shape is gaining steam: It's wide-brimmed, floppy, and rooted in sources as diverse as safari gear and Jim Morrison. "This hat is very Chelsea-girl-rock-and-roll-sixties English," says Kym Canter, creative director at J. Mendel, of the mink hats in its fall collection (pictured, top). Fendi has done its own interpretation, in leather, reminiscent of the floppy suede hats favored by Dead Heads, while Yves St. Laurent's version (above) should remind customers of the house's 1968 safari collection. No matter the inspiration, however, all are paired, this time around, with plush, rich fur coats.

Mohawk Trail

The mohawk is the new mullet: the latest hairstyle to stage an ironic comeback. This summer's incarnation of the spiky 'do is less aggressive and architecturally daring than its Clash-era ancestors. Actor Ryan Phillippe recently escorted his wife, Reese Witherspoon, to the premiere of Legally Blonde wearing an elegant blond mohawk. Rebecca Weinberg, stylist for Sex and the City, slipped into Bungalow 8 recently with a well-gelled version. Even girly-girls are getting in on the action. "Some things are just too frilly to wear with it, but mostly it provided a nice edge," says Mavette Maton, a diminutive mohawk-wearer. Back in the U.K., however, the look has already been deemed bollocks. Soccer champ and Posh Spice spouse David Beckham has shaved his off -- too many copycats were turning up in the bleachers.
MONICA ROY

Boot-ylicious

If you haven't bought your fall boots yet, well, excuse us, what's taking you so long? "You can't wait on this. It's the one clearly validated runway trend," said Robin Givhan, fashion editor of the Washington Post, who has already made a scouting trip to Jeffrey. "You can't dawdle. You just can't!" The city's most devoted fashion types are doggedly playing the ants (grasshoppers, after all, will find themselves bootless). "Am I more seditionary than equestrian?" they are wondering, and, "Can I really spend $3,900 on a pair of boots?" (The price of Tom Ford's much sought-after lace-up Victorian-meets-boho boots.) "You can't quote me!" gasped one fashion editor with a crush on Manolo Blahnik's buckled ankle boots. "Someone will buy my boots and take my size!" The most important thing to anyone who's ever met a StairMaster, however, is just finding one that'll fit over your calf.

Smart Set
Melissa de la Cruz

There's nothing the fashion world likes better than juicy tales of its own debt-addled victims. And this summer's beach-worthy entry is Cat's Meow, the debut novel by Melissa de la Cruz, an editor at Hintmag.com, the gossipy online fashion magazine. De la Cruz shares a few traits with her protagonist, Cat McAllister: Both have found themselves imprisoned in something by Fendi that was just too tight, and both had stints as child models. "I moved to the U.S. from Manila when I was 12," De la Cruz explains. "My dad had been an investment banker, my mom was a socialite, but then we suddenly had this suburban, immigrant life. I would read books by Jay McInerney and dream of some kind of return to glamour. This book is a campy fairy tale about all that." And so her heroine blows her trust fund on Dolce & Gabbana sandals, fails to land a job at Vogue (though she does coin the term condéscending), and falls for a tailor (she'd been aiming for royalty). "There's a lot of Filipino humor in there," De la Cruz says. "We see the absurdity in anything."


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