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While the rest of us plebs are still fretting over what to gird our loins with this spring, buyers from the country's most important department stores have already seen the future and placed their fall-winter 2010-2011 orders. Ken Downing, Julie Gilhart, Stephanie Solomon, and Colleen Sherin all know something we don't know—namely: What people will be buying come fall. Going into spring, here's their advice on what to watch for, what to keep, and what to toss:
Ken Downing, SVP and fashion director, Neiman Marcus—"Contrast between masculine and feminine in a 1970s Charlie girl sort of way"—Must haves: Pants, a feminine touch like a lace blouse, something shimmery or velvet, a boyfriend coat, anything olive green, fur (real or faux), vests, plaid, structured bags, pointy shoes
Julie Gilhart, fashion director, Barneys New York—"Less is more"—Must haves: Junya Watanabe army green jacket, Altuzarra leather, Dries van Noten animal print scarves, Rochas animal print flat boots, Stella McCartney camel cardi, Rodarte fringe skirt, Celine or Proenza tote bag, lace-up footwear.
Colleen Sherin, fashion market director, Saks Fifth Avenue—"Building a coat wardrobe for every aspect of your lifestyle"—Must haves: Rag & Bone anorak, Proenza duffel coat, Roberto Cavalli embroidered shearling, a new knit (Fair Isle, patchwork, or lace), a fur accessory.
Stephanie Solomon, fashion director, Bloomingdale's—"Military"—Must haves: olive anorak with fur trim hood, Burberry Prorsum shearling flight jacket, military jacket with brass buttons, Gucci, Balmain, or Akris boot-cut pants, knit accessories, fur evening bag.
· Fashion diary: Retailers discuss what will make it from runway to rack [LA Times]