J.Crew's Designer Tom Mora Explains How to Take a Runway Trend and Make it Your Own

by Sophia Chabbott

Provided by J.CrewProvided by J.Crew

I don't know about you, but J.Crew just makes me happy. It's got this blend of cool and trendy--but I always feel like myself in the brand's clothes--my best self. Needless to say the J.Crew fall 2014 presentation was one of my New York Fashion Week highlights. I had a chance to speak with Tom Mora, head of women's design about the fall collection, his inspiration, and how gals like you and me can take a runway trend and make it your own--read real-world-ready--look.

First, take a look at some highlights from the collection:

Provided by J.CrewProvided by J.Crew

Provided by J.CrewProvided by J.Crew

Provided by J.CrewProvided by J.Crew

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Glamour: What inspired you for the fall collection?
Tom Mora: The collection was inspired by the cabarets of the Weimar era in Berlin in the '20s and '30s. It was a very prosperous time as far as creativity: science, the arts, theater, painters, poets, writers--all of those people just prospered in that period. They spent a lot of time in cabarets, where there was a lot of experimentation and freedom. I took the moody attitude of it and [a work by] my favorite artist of that period, Otto Dix. His portrait of Silvia von Harden is a hard-looking painting with starkness and rich moody colors. It has a masculinity and a femininity to it.

Glamour: The collection feels on-trend but very personal--any woman can make it her own. What's your style advice for woman who want to follow trends but not get overcome by a runway look?
TM: The most important thing is step to out of you comfort zone a little bit. Try something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Even when we're designing, when it feels a little off, that's a good thing. It's means there's something new happening.

See more: 10 Most Wearable Spring 2014 Fashion Trends

Glamour: Let's get specific. If a woman, say, wants to try out the pink trend, but she's terrified of pink....
TM: If you see pink as being a big idea, maybe try it in a top or a nail polish. Try it in a way that feels good for you, and it'll make you feel happier trying that little bit of something.

Glamour: We have to ask. What did you think of Jenna Lyons' performance as Lena Dunham's boss on Girls?
TM: It was pretty cool. I just loved that she was wearing all of our clothes. She's really amazing. She's like wonder woman.

What do you think of the collection? How would you mix and match it? Click here for more on Fashion Week.

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