It’s one thing to lust after the fall 2012 runway offerings but translating the looks to real life–gilded cape, anyone?–can be an entirely different story. Enter Amy Lu, a Toronto-based stylist who has lent her expertise to the likes of
Vanity Fair and
People. Lu selected her favourite five from
our fall 2012 trend report, and offered her advice for maximum wearability. “Instead of wearing the look as you see it on the runway, it’s about embracing the trend and thinking about how it can work for you in a way that makes sense.” Read on for her wisdom on how to make five fashion trends—leather, red, cobalt, ‘50s-inspired and baroque—work for you this fall.

Fall 2012 wearable fashion trend: Baroque

Runway inspiration: Dolce & Gabbana, Jason Wu, Marni

How to wear it: The ultra-opulent, ultra-embellished looks may seem like the most intimidating trend to adopt but Lu says it’s all about making it work for you.

“Choose the right piece,” Lu recommends. “Obviously for day, you’ll want to choose something more subdued.” Try a blazer with some detailing or a blouse with an embellished neckline for a taste of the trend that isn’t overkill.

For night, a statement dress with
baroque details “could be really incredible and it’s so easy to pair with opaque black stockings, or even leggings and booties,” Lu says. “The trick with baroque is to keep everything else simple and minimal, and let the actual piece be the statement and focal point.”

If you’re worried about looking a little too ornate, sample the trend with a few inspired accessories. Chandelier earrings, opulent necklaces, and embellished cuffs can help dress up even jeans and a white T-shirt.

Fall 2012 wearable fashion trend: Leather

Runway inspiration: Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Gucci

How to wear it: “I think it’s a really easy trend to incorporate,” Lu says of leather. “You can wear as little or as much of it as you want.”

The head-to-toe, all black looks seen on the runway may be a little heavy-handed for everyday life, so Lu suggests picking one piece to add to your rotation. “It’s easy to rock a pair of leather pants . . . or the separates – leather T-shirts, leather jackets.” Lu’s favourite way to wear the trend is to pair a leather T-shirt with skinny denim and kitten heels—polished, but funky.

Lu warns that leather may be too “edgy” for the office. If your place of work is a creative, fashion-forward environment, you might be able to get away with rocking a pair of leather pants “if you paired it with something more conservative.”

And whenever wearing leather, avoid baring a lot of skin. As Lu points out, “Leather is a statement and it’s sexy on its own.”

Ready to test out more fall trends? It’s easy to sport red, cobalt and the ’50s vibe on the next page …

Fall 2012 wearable fashion trend: Red

Runway inspiration: Marc Jacobs, Christopher Kane, Jil Sander

How to wear it: The best thing about fall 2012’s obsession with red? It looks good on everyone. “It’s not necessarily one hue,” Lu says. “It’s all about
burgundies, wines, and crimsons . . . there’s definitely a hue that works best for you, and you can wear a lot of it or a little of it.”

Colour-shy women shouldn’t automatically rule this look out. “Don’t just think of apple red,” Lu advises. “Try on a few different shades and find one that works for you.”

Red always conjures a sense of innate sexiness and confidence, making it fun to play with—add a siren red bag, or pair of pumps, or take the trend all the way and try a tone-on-tone look. Lu is currently coveting a maroon boyfriend blazer. “It reminds me of fall and of all the beautiful colours that go with it – rust, forest green, khakis, and all those back-to-school preppy looks.”

Fall 2012 wearable fashion trend: Cobalt

Runway inspiration: Balenciaga, Lanvin, Stella McCartney

How to wear it: “Cobalt is a very flattering colour,” Lu says. “It looks great on all skin tones.” This bold bright may seem unorthodox for fall, but Lu says it’s incredibly easy to incorporate—even for those who tend to favour neutrals. Look for items you already own that can be paired with a
new cobalt separate, such as a blazer, silk tank, or silk pajama-inspired trousers. “The trouser pants with the silk tank and dark blazer could look really sharp,” Lu suggests.

“It looks incredible with black, it looks great with denim. White is another huge trend for fall, and cobalt blue and white look gorgeous.”

As for jewelry, cobalt can be worn with gold or silver—depending on the look you’re after. “When you wear cobalt with gold, it gives it a real eighties flair. When you style it with silver, it gives it a more subdued look.”

Fall 2012 wearable fashion trend:
The ‘50s

Runway inspiration: Michael Kors, Erdem, Calvin Klein

How to wear it: “It’s a very feminine era,” Lu says of the
‘50s inspiration that was all over the fall 2012 runways. “It’s a real treat to embrace feminine dressing and looking girly.”

When it comes to Old Hollywood looks, it’s all about you style it. “Rather than looking vintage, pick one piece and style it with a bold lip or a kitten heel,” Lu says. “You want to avoid looking totally retro . . . Keep everything else minimal.”

If you’re going to purchase one ‘50s item for fall, Lu recommends a skirt or a dress. “Dresses are easy. You put on the dress with some great shoes, and you’re good to go.” Or try mixing in another fall trend: leather. Add a leather T-shirt to an ultra-feminine voluminous skirt to break up the vintage look.

Read more:

Fall 2012 fashion trend: Gothic

Fall 2012 fashion trend: Surrealism
Fall’s new take on "sexy"

5 ways to break up with your summer wardrobe