From the Upper East Side to the U of M

Spotted: S., B., and company strutting the runways of the fall fashion shows, setting trends with just a flick of their braceleted wrists. Good going girls; looks like your fabulousness is rubbing off on everyone who matters. OK, so maybe it didnâÄôt exactly work that way since Misses van der Woodsen and Waldorf happen to be fictional femmes, but if any savvy fashionista happened to thumb through the pages of those monstrous fall Vogues and Elles, theyâÄôd know that the creative forces we call fashion designers have been watching a few episodes of everyoneâÄôs favorite teenybop soap on the CW, âÄúGossip Girl.âÄù The cultural zeitgeist and its cast of well-dressed, too-gorgeous-to-be-true characters brought the fabbest of fashions to the masses âÄî who wouldâÄôve dreamed that dandily-dressed Chuck Bass , with his clashing plaids, bright colors and trademark scarf could have become the sartorial icon of the fashion elite? If you find yourself wishing you could look just as ravishing as the cast of âÄúGossip GirlâÄù when Monday nights roll around, incorporating bits and pieces of their signature looks into your own ensembles is about as difficult as seducing Chuck or flustering Dan. Just pick a style-BFF of your own and shop with her in mind. What would Blair do? Wild child with a heart Serena van der Woodsen would be right at home at this seasonâÄôs DKNY show; what with its hippie-girl fringe, bright patterns and clever layers, itâÄôs free-spirit feel is a perfect fit for the golden girl of the Upper East Side and works just as well for you in the heart of the Midwest. Key elements of SerenaâÄôs look that you can adapt for yourself and the coming season are simple to scour the Mall of America for: over-the-knee socks, cropped jackets, fitted vests, flat boots, and layers of necklaces are all available at places like Urban Outfitters (make sure to check out the Free People line) and even The Gap, whose plaid-centric fall collection would be perfectly at home in SerenaâÄôs alterna-prep closet. SerenaâÄôs BFF, queen bee Blair, would turn up her nose at such eclecticism and favor the clean lines and blueblood aesthetic of Tory Burch and Tommy Hilfiger , but also fall for the ruffles, furbelows and lace-covered frocks at Prada or the sophisticated florals at Michael Kors . Emulating the princess of the Upper East Side starts with your coiffure; BlairâÄôs signature accessory is a headband, and those sorts of hair-centric fripperies are available everywhere, from Target to Banana Republic . Try bows or stripes; a headband is the perfect place to start if youâÄôre a little shy. Work yourself into a Waldorf with slim-cut blazers in navy blue and be adventurous. Try colored tights and shiny patent flats, or a strand of (faux) pearls with a prim, buttoned-up dress. Preppy and polished is key, but to truly mimic Blair, one simply must add a touch of romance and a teensy bit of naughtiness. After all, you canâÄôt keep the claws in forever. WouldnâÄôt the goth femme fatale stalking the runways of Givenchy and Alexander Wang be a perfect fit for bad-girl Georgina Sparks ? Adapting her queen of darkness style is easy, especially with the prevalence of such evildoer basics like dusky black lace, piles of heavy chain necklaces and crucifixes, and spike-heeled strappy stilettos poised to puncture terrain âÄî and hearts. Because the trickle-down effect works in a college studentâÄôs favor, essential pieces like huge studded cuffs and gigantic statement necklaces like those seen at Burberry showed up as much cheaper trimmings at For Love 21, (the best place to purchase runway-inspired baubles, even if they last about as long as Nate and VanessaâÄôs romance) and H&M. Pile on the chains, smoke up your eyes with gel eyeliner and dusky-hued eyeshadows and get ready to create good old-fashioned mayhem, you wicked thing. Just donâÄôt get sent to boarding school. As the leaves begin to change, keep your eyes glued to those fashion-forward high schoolers, not only to see what disastrous situations theyâÄôll find themselves in week to week, but for the inspiration only the truly fabulous can bring to your wardrobe. You know you love them.