Over the holiday weekend I saw the new Coen brother's movie "True Grit" and although I hardly expected to be sartorially inspired, I was. Watching that movie called to mind the many looks from the pre-fall 2011 collections which all seemed to be channeling a woman whose persona would be described as: Western outlaw-meets-Victorian spinster. A strange combination in theory, but the hybrid-looks fared well strutting down the runway. All channeling a bit of the seventies vibe with styling and accessories, the looks avoid turning into costumes. Of course, some deliver this better than others, Zac Posen's brilliant blue eye-shadow balances the Victorian shaped silhouettes and rugged neutrals. Burberry Prorsum's cinched waists add both drama and shape to their luxe-prairie dresses and over the top barn coat looks. ADAM comes close to caricature with the grey button-up skirt, and turtleneck look that goes too far with the addition of a black neck scarf and heavy socks; however, in other areas there was success, pairing a tuxedo blazer with a long floral dress, or his brilliant wide-leg trouser look topped with an over-the-top jacket, half of which is lush fur. Donna Karen's collection seems pretty literal, but on closer inspection the elaborate draping, layering and mixing of textures makes these looks impeccable from head to toe. Perhaps my favorite collection is from J. Mendel who unexpectedly embraced the trend, presenting a creative balance between delicate underthings and voluminous toppings. I love how the looks seem thrown together, yet remain polished. I imagine a girl out on the range who is forced to attend a fancy party- and this is what she comes up with, layering menswear with fur or nightgowns with barn coats. The stories these collections evoke is half the fun- and I think these designers may have seen a sneak preview of True Grit when designing for what is sure to be a very fashionable fall 2011!