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This Woman Might Have Chosen Your Outfit

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    Photographed by Eva K. Salvi.

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    We love trends as much as the next girl — unless the next girl is Sasha Sarokin, buying manager at NET-A-PORTER.COM. To say they are her life wouldn't be hyperbole: It's just a fact. Whether she's crisscrossing the globe to make the rounds at Fashion Week or cultivating relationships with new designers at the brand's London HQ, this style whisperer is THE source for unearthing the next big thing.

    Aside from her eclectic and understated wardrobe (more on that later), Sarokin tabled her Vassar political science degree after one summer internship with a fashion company. That was when she really started writing her own fashion rules. And, though she ascribes to Coco Chanel's accessorizing advice — always remove one piece before leaving the house — she couldn't help but add her own twist. "I wouldn't necessarily choose the jewelry," she says. "More is more, but within a focus. A lot of everything is overwhelming. A lot of one thing works."

    We sat down with this London-based expat to learn how she determines what global tastemakers will be wearing next season, how to spot a game-changing trend, and which pieces to stock up on now. Clothes might not make the woman, but we're starting to think the accessories might.


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    Accessories buying isn't something everyone's familiar with — could you walk us through the process?
    "It begins at Fashion Week, where we attend back-to-back shows and appointments. It’s important to be at as many shows as possible, to capture the mood and atmosphere of a season. Afterward, buying managers (like me) work with buying teams to select the best products for the site."

    What accessories trends were particularly strong during F/W '14 Fashion Week?
    "Accessories are really fun right now. Women are dressing in a more chic, subtle way, which means we have the freedom to mix it up with statement accessories like whimsical baubles, layered costume and fine jewelry, and retro pieces. Beyond that, bold and adventurous jewelry is hot right now. Lele Sadoughi's chokers, spiked bracelets, and geometric earrings make a real statement. And, the trend of adventurous jewelry like ear cuffs, body chains, and knuckle rings will be around until next summer, so this is the time to invest!"

    Atlantique Ascoli shirt dress; Chloé pants; Michael van der Ham dress; Equipment shirt; Erdem top; Oscar de la Renta caftan.

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    There's a whole lot of pattern going on in this rack. What prints are you forecasting this fall?
    "Everything here is relevant. The blue and white Stella McCartney dress [left] embodies the lighthearted feeling in fashion right now. It's a cocktail dress but more versatile than the traditional. The peekaboo details and lace are eye-catching, but with an oversized coat and boots, it transitions to daywear."

    And, what about this top you're holding?
    "It's Erdem, and it goes with the floral Marni skirt to its left. Printed separates are in right now because they're more versatile than a printed dress. These items work together, but the skirt could also be paired with a V-neck or a button-down, and the top with jeans or another basic. It's a print you wear, not a print that wears you."

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    Speaking of fall trends...those shoes have a real disco-glam feeling going on.
    "Yes! Bionda Castana's geometric-print, pin-sharp stilettos are fabulous and so appropriate for fall's '70s trend. These channel serious Studio 54 glamour with boyfriend jeans during the day and a dress at night. Anytime you think an outfit might look too basic, finishing it with a fun shoe does the trick."

    Love them! What about the bag and the jewelry?
    "We're also seeing women returning to that desire for an iconic bag, like this Valentino Rockstud. It has the double benefit of being both a shoulder bag and a clutch, but the knuckle-duster makes it a total standout. Stacked, sculptural gold jewelry is also having a moment. If your jewelry has a vintage feel, more is more! Think flea markets and grandma's closet."

    Bionda Castana sandals; Lele Sadoughi necklace; Lele Sadoughi bracelet.

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    If we're only investing in one accessory this fall, what should it be?
    "An oversized, baby-pink scarf like this one or a killer shoulder bag. Pastels are my favorite trend for fall — they’re incredibly refreshing."

    Stella McCartney scarf.

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    Do you change up your accessories every day, or do you keep a few pieces in heavy rotation?
    "I have a bit of an accessories uniform. My watch, bracelets, and Anita Ko stacked rings and earrings don't really come off. But, I'll layer statement accessories over them."

    That necklace is incredible. Is it all one piece?
    "Yes, this necklace is one Tom Binns piece. A lot of designers have been doing this mix-and-match look for years, but it's easy to copy the look by layering pearl and crystal and gold necklaces in varying lengths. The messy look makes it cool. I'll wear this with a crewneck T-shirt and black skinny jeans, or a shirtdress. It's one of those items that can take any outfit from basic to super-polished."