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Pattern Indy volunteers, registering guests. I only know the woman on the far right, Esther Boston, an Indianapolis photographer. Every time I see her I am reminded of Queen Esther in the Bible. She’s so lovely that she must have been named after the biblical beauty.


If you’re like me, you don’t know what you’re going to wear tomorrow, let alone how you’ll dress in the fall of 2014. Don’t worry. Fran Yoshioka  already has that covered for us. As a freelance design consultant, Yoshioka studies trends (how fun would that be?) and helps major apparel, home and fashion retailers anticipate what consumers will respond to a year ahead of when it arrives in stores.

How does she do it? Yoshioka has a huge network of global trend spotters and she travels a lot. “In Europe, it’s very easy to spot trends because it’s all so obvious,” says Yoshioka, who recently spoke for Pattern Indy, a fashion-focused non-profit in Indianapolis.

As we all know, fashion isn’t what it used to be—at least not in the sense that an elite group of designers can prescribe or predict what the rest of us will wear. “The key is to be customer centric about lifestyle, what’s becoming difficult for people and how ideas about design evolve from one season to the next, based on what’s going on in the world,” Yoshioka says.

It’s all about what people crave and where our heads are. Although fashion frequently repeats itself, Yoshioka confirms that it seldom returns in exactly the same form. What’s her forecast for what we’ll be wearing a year from now? As usual, there’s something for everyone.

Quiet style: Exquisite fabrics, softer colors and fabulous details.

Utility: Working class functionality with hoods, shaker stitches and sturdy fabrics.

Military: Epaulettes, pockets, flaps, brass buttons, belted waists, new camouflage and animal patterns.

Modern menswear: updated mixes, proportions and scales—namely a shapely hourglass silhouette that makes menswear sexy and feminine; grey flannel is supreme. Ditto for houndstooth, pinstripes, prince of wales, glen plaids and herringbones.

Babushka: Eastern European handcraft—think Russian Easter eggs and nesting dolls for color and pattern.

Asian: Art and old world beauty for pattern and style inspiration—think flowers, Chinese dragons and tapestry work in unexpected layouts.

Color: A shift toward softer colors and a subdued palette that’s quiet and neutralized. Mid-range colors take the intensity down a notch or two from bright predecessors. Watch for more taupes, camels, minerals and metals.

Group shot

•Madison Hanulak, founder of Preppy Guide to Life
Murph Damron, image consultant & grande dame of fashion in Indianapolis;
•Maria Dickman, features editor and director of PR and marketing for Pattern Indy;
•Jody DeFord, founder of Red’s Shoe Diaries
I’m wearing a midnight blue vintage coat that’s one of my very favorites for fall evening events. I’m always afraid someone will steal it if I take it off!

I love attending these educational events hosted by Pattern Indy, where I’ve made some great friendships with fashion enthusiasts, designers and professionals who work in related fields. It’s a real mixed collection of people. That’s one of the things that keeps me happy and energized—mixing it up with different kinds of people in various industries.

Is there an organized fashion community in your town? If not, why not start one?

 Life is short. Wear the good stuff.



I don’t know this guy’s name, but he’s always such a gentleman–and a sneaky photographer at these events. I have watched him snap photos of people who never knew they were being photographed. How does he do it? I thought it would be fun to get HIS photo.

Food at the VIP reception

I’m a sucker for the prissy food at receptions like this one. Check out these chocolates!