Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing Is So Over Lindsay Lohan, Loves Fancy Pants, and Lists Five-Must Haves for Every Wardrobe

Ken Downing
Ken Downing
Courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix fashionistas (and their mostly bored boyfriends) turned up to the Phoenix Art Museum to hear Neiman Marcus' fashion director, Ken Downing, talk trends.


The effervescent string bean of a man walked the hundreds in attendance through slides of runway shots illustrating overarching themes and ideas shared by different designers, including Prada, Prabal Gurung, Donna Karan, and more.

Besides dissecting fashion do's, Downing was bent on the comeback of polished and poised womenswear, with Kate Middleton as a modern icon, leaving the likes of Lindsay Lohan in the dust.

Read on for more from Downing, and five fashion must-haves.

"We are exhausted from all these Hollywood girls who can't get to the coroner's office on time," Downing says, obviously alluding to the perpetual LiLo shit show.

But it wasn't all Lindsay bashing. Downing's excitement over clothes and accessories was nothing short of contagious -- almost inspirational. For those who worship at the altar of Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent, it was like a sermon from the high priest of fashion. And if anyone left the talk without wanting to head shopping after, it's likely they fell asleep (not unlike the dude who was sitting next to us).

Downing broke down trends into sections, including neon, prints, shimmer and shine, color, and more. Here are five things on our shopping list, per Downing's recommendations.

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5. Navy
Downing showed love for royal blue, midnight, and navy shades, suggesting they be used as a go-to neutral since they're less harsh than black. "Color is modern again," he says, noting that, if you partake in the neon trend, balance the brightness with a lagoon blue to avoid looking too '80s and new wave.

4. Fancy Pants
"Fancy Pants, fancy pants, fancy pants." Just what does Downing mean by fancy pants? Well, he means a few different things. Colorful denim falls into the fancy category -- Downing recommends red jeans. Fancy pants can have loud prints, vintage-inspired patterns, or neon

3. Silver
"I'm all about a silver shoe; a neutral shoe for day and night," he said. If silver shoes seem a little Cinderella for your day-to-day wardrobe, Downing also noted that many designers are showing lurex-injected tweed coats that give off a more subtle low velocity sheen.

2. Sportif
Think: fashionable jogger. Sportif is a ladylike look mixed with gymnasium apparel, with touches of scuba or motocross, and lots of perforated leather. Downing's favorite sporty piece? An anorak. He recommends wearing one as an evening jacket over a cocktail dress for a chic contrast.

1. Pajamas
Since students will wear pajamas as daywear anyway, Downing says they might as well make them fashionable. From flowing palazzo pants to button-down tops with contrasting piping, pajama-inspired clothing is gonna be big. The trend is very menswear influenced and more wearable than one might think.

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