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Alexa Chung, Emma Stone, and Kristen Bell all wear red crossbody bags abroad.
Photo: Getty Images

It's time to say good-bye to living in swimsuits and denim shorts. Yes, folks, summer is officially over (sniffle, we know). Whether you had a vacation getaway or just chilled out at home, the sunny days are mere memories as we prepare for fall. We at MTV Style always find this transitional time of year uplifting—mostly due to New York Fashion Week, of course—and it's the thought of layered dressing and colorful scarves that get us through these almost-cool September days. But if there's one trend that allows us to capture the brightness of summer, an accessory to take with us that truly makes any drab ensemble pop, it's a red crossbody bag. Vacationing celebs like Alexa Chung, Emma Stone, and Kristen Bell all slung shades of scarlet over their monochromatic basics while overseas, and we're totally ready to steal (aka be inspired!) by this new MEGA-trend.

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Lady Gaga houndstooth

Lady Gaga, Evan Rachel Wood, and Ginnifer Goodwin do houndstooth three different ways.
Photo: WireImage/Getty Images

Leave it to Lady Gaga to start a MEGA-TREND. We'd like to say that she's the main inspiration behind the houndstooth mania sweeping celeb-u-land these days, but the two-tone check print is actually a big trend pattern for fall. (She totally kick-started it with that ALL-OVER HOUNDSTOOTH EXTRAVAGANZA she unveiled when hosting The View this summer, though.) Houndstooth has been making subtle appearances on the red carpet recently, such as on Evan Rachel Wood's feet at the premiere of her new film The Ides of March at the Venice Film Festival. Seriously, aren't those shoes TO DIE?! They're just the right amount of houndstooth for kicking up a basic black and white lady-suit or for tipping out layered patterns (à la Gaga). We're also really loving an edgier take on the houndstooth trend courtesy of Ginnifer Goodwin. The body-HUGGING Herve Leger minidress she wore to the Something Borrowed premiere took the houndstooth print to a whole new level with its alternating houndstooth stripes. Does it work? CHECK.

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Christina Ricci on the September 2011 cover of "Nylon."
Photo: Courtesy of "Nylon"

Welcome back, Christina Ricci! Oh, how we've longed to see your always ADORABLE petite-girl style for what feels like sleepy, hollow EONS. Now, not only do we get to watch you ON A WEEKLY BASIS—in all your 1960s-coiffed glory—as part of the new TV series, Pan Am, we also get to copy your fall look courtesy of Nylon magazine's September issue. This IS a new look, right? We're assuming you've transitioned to a more NYC-friendly wardrobe as evidenced by your recent move to Brooklyn, but also due to MATURITY and an innate style eye for all things VINTAGE and FEMININE. So, Christina Ricci In NYLON mag, what else can you tell us about your cover girl transformation other than that it concerns mismatched prints and stripes?

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After her SHOWSTOPPING VMA outfit caused a scream-fest both before and during the awards for its DARING use of a surgical mask (not to mention layers of metal, lace, tights, animal socks, mishmashed leg warmers, and an errant doll-baby thrown in for just the right amount of added whimsy), Nicki Minaj continued down her candy-colored road of many colors at the VMA afterparty for Lil Wayne's The Carter IV. She arrived at Boulevard3 in Hollywood wearing a slightly toned down yet still pink, pink, and MORE PINK formfitting outfit that hinted at the TOKYO-TASTIC cartoon character she played earlier in the eve. While her afterparty outfit might not be as HARAJU-KU-KU as her awards show one, we still think its playful mix of Japanese street style with Barbie doll aesthetics is worthy of a full-on, anatomical BREAKDOWN!

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Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and JoJo in shapely dresses at the 2011 VMAs.
Photos: Getty Images

Although we expected a "statement" from Lady Gaga at last night's VMAs, we weren't expecting that she would tone down the amount of fashion SO MUCH (while amping up the ah-mazing Jo Calderone theatrics, of course). Mother Monster is usually all about an exaggerated silhouette or, you know, sculpted, body-con, raw meat shapes. But this year, she changed it up—as promised—and allowed some of her female contemporaries to steal the dramatic silhouette spotlight. So, who tried to outdo Lady Gaga's usual OUT THERE outfit shape CRAZINESS?

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Trash and Vaudeville opened in 1975 and has been serving up rock-and-roll realness ever since. Born out of the 1970s rock and punk scene on St. Mark's Place in New York City, the store prides itself on providing a variety of alternative fashions for everyone from rockers to punks, goths, rappers, and pop starlets, to the everyday working class hero who just wants to walk on the wild side in some leopard pants.

I was introduced to Trash and Vaudeville when I first moved to the city and it's been a staple in my life and wardrobe ever since. When you step into Trash and Vaudeville you'll instantly feel at home, and Jimmy—the manager and buyer—will make sure of it. Jimmy Webb, or Jimmy from Trash and Vaudeville (his official name), was the first person to help me out and the person to sell me my first pair of leopard-print pants. "You can go a size down," he told me, as I'm squeezing into my animal-print second skin. If there is one thing this man knows...it's EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING in that store.

As you can see from our video tour, he's MAJOR and if you get the chance to have Jimmy himself or someone on his team hook you up with your back-to-school gear, you should consider yourself blessed. Jimmy has worked with celebs like Lil' Wayne, Paramore, Avril Lavigne, Slash, My Chemical Romance, Agyness Deyn, and (his all-time fav) Iggy Pop, just to name a few.
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Back to school backpacks

Pixie Geldof, Rachel Bilson, and Gillian Zinser all rock the back-to-school look.
Photo: All via WireImage

Backpacks are not chic. Or at least they weren't until Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen put a $40K price tag on them. Or Alexander Wang sent heaps of them down the runway. Or trendsetters like Rachel Bilson and Pixie Geldof showed up with them in tow. So, wait. Backpacks are chic, which is rad because it a) means we can carry more than our lipstick and cell phone, b) effectively kills the TEETERING-OVER-MASSIVE-BAG trend of a few years ago, and c) is actually good for our backs (in moderation. But certainly better than the one-strap, over-the-shoulder book bag of yore).

The reality is, your school bag is totally a companion, enduring the same ills, wet days, long nights, and field trips you do. While the double-strapped tote used to be child's play, the new crop of packs have a vintage/retro feel and arrive in every color/trend/vibe you could want. So MTV Style has rounded up the 10 backpacks that'll definitely be worth adding to your wishlist, faster than you can say, "It's September already?!"

+ CHECK OUT OUR MUST-HAVE BACKPACKS FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL 2011

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Though we won't see who exactly did something until the Do Something! Awards arrive on VH1 on Thursday, we can already tell you that things got did...er, done. Because the award appreciates those bright, shining, young people who make a change, celebs like Tyra Banks and Demi Lovato brought their brightest and shiniest (respectively) outfits to the VH1 red carpet. (The show was taped last night, in case you were wondering about our preternatural awards ceremonies prediction abilities. Which we ALSO have, but we also snagged some images for your enjoyment, as well.)

METALLIC SHEEN

Demi Lovato Justin Bieber Olivia Wilde Do Something Awards

Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, and Olivia Wilde shine in metallic at the 2011 Do Something! Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

Nothing puts a well-polished glint on the future of activism like metallic fabric (Got that? Good, glad you're coming with me.), and what we have here is three very different takes on a very cool trend. First we have Miss Demi Lovato, who is just knocking it out of the style park these days with her incredible hair/skin combo and sartorial smarts. She has a simple, figure-flattering white dress with a silver embroidery down the front. The slight hint of metal really gave her white dress a sense of movement and versatility. On the masculine front, Justin Bieber demonstrates how a dude can rock the metal trend without looking shiny or like he just returned from Ibiza. With treated denim, the Beebs took a casual look and made it surprisingly red carpet with a gentle gold sheen. Gold pants, once veering into dangerous Freddie Mercury territory, are surprisingly elegant. For the most dramatic metallic of the night, Olivia Wilde showed up in a Grecian Chloe resort gown. While the cut might not be the most forward-thinking, the all-over shimmer of the fabric is gorge.
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Christina Hendricks, Jaime King, and Olivia Wilde in neckties.
Photos: Getty Images

It used to be that you only tied a ribbon 'round your neck if you were A) a gentleman of the late 1800s, B) a punk rock Parisian poet named Charles Baudelaire, who lived during the late 1800s, or C) Emile Hirsch circa 2008. But make no mistake, neckties are all the rage and have been popping up on MANY a red carpet recently. A little bit lady, a whole lotta rock and roll, the ribbon necktie gives a nod to vintage Victoriana while making any button-up shirt look instantaneously MODERN. Not bad for a something you can buy for less than a dollar at any craft store.

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Sarah Silverman at August's InStyle Party, Taylor Momsen at Lollapalooza, and Emily Browning at this summer's amfAR Inspiration Gala Paris.
Photo: WireImage, Getty Images, Wire Image

Smart move for those who miss their equestrian or over-the-knee boots in the summer: Instead of going with leather or wool, embrace your inner schoolgirl and let your hosiery creep past your knee...BUT NO MORE. Yes, ladies, we are discussing the thigh-high sock, that welcome-to-fall trend that stands in for a boot/structured shoe/nylons but is cheekier than all three. And in preparation for fall, ladies on the carpet rouge have started busting out their thigh highs, staying summer (upper thigh exposed = ventilation and cooling, plus an addition of sheer as opposed to seasonally unfriendly wool) while hinting at the coming season (knee-high sock = collegiate/incoming autumn look). And each of our trendsetters has taken their own approach, demonstrating that knee-highs do not always communicate the same thing. Except, you know, your knees are covered but your thighs can be freeeee!

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Editorial Director
Sophia Rai
Staff Editor
Gaby Wilson
West Coast Editor
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Featured Comment

I love these two as a couple. What a festive way to celebrate two important events in their life. Mariah looks like a dream.

Posted by Journey on Mariah Carey And Nick Cannon Shut Down Disneyland To Renew Vows In Cinderella-Themed Ensembles
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