Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

Women’s Voices for Change created Fashion Friday to offer our readers information about current trends in clothes and accessories, along with stories from women who are comfortable describing their wardrobe essentials or passions. We have been joined by a cadre of fashion bloggers who bring new ideas to our audience. These pieces are enlivened by lots of photographs as well.  At the end of the week, many of us look forward to TGIF fashion fun.

The fashion trends for spring are especially clear this year, with new patterns, colors, and shapes. Bergdorf Goodman, the temple of high-end clothing on Fifth Avenue in New York City, always has beautifully curated clothes from well-known and emerging designers. This year the store agreed to our unusual request to hold a “fantasy spring shopping spree.” We proposed to spend one day choosing examples of  clothes that embodied the new trends we’d love to wear; on another morning we’d have a photo shoot. (Dr. Allen — is a spokesperson on women’s health, and the publisher of Women’s Voices for Change— is also the model for the seven favorite outfits in this fantasy shopping spree. All photos from Cheryl Fleming Photography.-Ed.)

Our fantasy started at 10 a.m. on Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, and ended at 7 p.m.  Nine hours and 60 outfits after we began, we had chosen seven looks that defined this season for us. The Verdura boutique at Bergdorf allowed us to choose jewelry for each outfit from its magnificent, storied collection. For  anyone who really loves clothes and accessories, this was a dream day.

The spring fashion trends we found  were pleats, peplums, florals, and riots of color; the Verdura jewelry made the outfits beyond memorable. Here are our seven fantasy-spree favorites.

We found, to our pleasure, that designers have clearly noticed our demographic—at last. These clothes are elegant—and they look good on us. Similarly appropriate outfits showcasing the spring trends are available in more affordable lines as well.

Here goes!

This Fendi canary-yellow dress with its pleated bodice and pencil skirt is made of finely woven stretch wool and has a white rubber belt.  It was great paired with red slingback Manolos.

(c) Cheryl Fleming

Giambattista Valli created this sleeveless silk/cotton blend hot coral number with the fun twist at the waist and the pencil bottom.

(c) Cheryl Fleming

This stunning floral dress from the designer Erdem was long enough to offset its shape-hugging contours, obtained with many fitted seams. The yellow floral pattern on the white background popped when the Oscar daffodil cashmere and silk bolero was added.

(c) Cheryl Fleming

This sun-yellow sleeveless Akris dress, with its fitted jacket that zips in front, is great for both spring and summer, when the jacket can be left in the closet. The fabric is 100 percent silk, and the dress has the very now asymmetrical pleats.

(c) Cheryl Fleming

Dior makes such wonderful retro suits with a thoroughly modern interpretation of the peplum, shown here in silk wool tweed with belted waist.  Love the pencil skirt, which will work so well with a black, white, or brightly colored sleeveless sweater for summer. The Nancy Gonzalez crocodile envelope clutch in hot pink was irresistible.

(c) Cheryl Fleming

The little white dress and white suit were everywhere.  This ivory Oscar crimped cotton and silk jacket has hidden buttons and subtle details that create a wonderful feminine shape that works so well with the fitted pencil skirt.

(c) Cheryl Fleming

The favorite of the day was the Oscar pleated dinner/cocktail dress with an illusion neckline and bracelet-length sleeves, pleated bodice, and full skirt. It is certainly elegant and a great backdrop for jewelry.

(c) Cheryl Fleming

We are grateful to the many people at Bergdorf Goodman who decided to have fun with this project and made it possible. We especially thank Lauren Picciano in Special Events; Joan Ferraro and Jamie Kimmelman, the most fabulous personal shoppers; Naide Qafleshi at Verdura; and Elizabeth Jensen, manager of precious jewelry. In addition we thank Ted Perez at Pierre Michel for hair, Margret Avery for makeup, and Cheryl Fleming for photography.

Stay tuned for our “Verdura Jewelry Fantasy” in two weeks.

  • drpatallen April 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm


    The clothes were beautiful and expensive, Maryl. That is why it was a fantasy! I have found clothes for spring that are similar in color and shape but never never never the same quality of fabric. Sigh.

    Thanks for joining in the conversation!

    Dr. Pat

  • Maryl April 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    The modeling is superb and the clothing so beautiful….although terribly unaffordable. I wrote about the Stella McCartney Miracle Dress earlier this year and a much less expensive knockoff, http://bit.ly/x3btue. And then modeled it last month. Not bad for a tenth the price!!

  • DivaDebbi April 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Chris, I think that would be a blast!

    Pat, I would love to try my hand at that! I wonder if I could fit it all in one set.

    Here’s a link to Dining Al fresco in Florence…Stacey is crazy about the Prada dress. I’m kind of nuts for the teal alligator Birkin. It packs a $43.0 pricetag, so Polyvore is about as close as I’m getting to this one.


    I’ll touch base with Stacey to see how to make this work.

  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. April 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm


    Stacey and I want you to create your fantasy wardrobe for spring on Polyvore. Do say yes.


  • Chris Lombardi April 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Debbi – Polyvore is SO amazing. I wonder if we should create a Polyvore playpen just for WVFC – where we can play in the so many designs #FashionFriday has brought us!

  • DivaDebbi April 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Pat, you look absolutely stunning. The Oscar was my favorite too. What a whirlwind this must have been…literally the proverbial, “kids in the candy store”.

    I recently discovered Polyvore, and have been designing my fantasy wardrobes every day this past week and posting them on my blog. It gives me an enormous amount of pleasure to play in this fashion sandbox. Are you familiar with it? Such fun.

  • Daniele Chemla April 1, 2012 at 5:03 am

    You are Very Chic!!

  • quintessence March 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    What a fabulously fun fashion fantasy!! Loved every second!! Lynne has it right – all great ideas to emulate for a splurge or lower price knock off. And that’s what it’s all about – using this is the gold standard and then mixing the high and low to get the look!! Now if we all looked like you it would make it that much easier!!

  • andrew grossman March 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    This is certainly not my demographic, but I thought the selection of clothes was lovely and who was that gorgeous model? Wasn’t she on the cover of Elle a few months ago 🙂

  • b.elliott March 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I love every single ensemble including those gorgeous gems! You have given me the courage to try yellow this season . . .

  • Bonnie Wyper March 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm


    You look great! Is this a career move?!


  • R. Bruce Lindsay March 30, 2012 at 11:57 am

    So Fun
    My mother would love this…
    What goes arround comes around.
    1930’s to 1960’s designs with 1960’s colors.
    LOL but still attractive.
    Quality design never goes out of fasion.

  • drpatallen March 30, 2012 at 10:27 am


    You like looking pulled together and you know what suits you. What else is there?
    Thanks for the supportive note.


  • RozWarren March 30, 2012 at 9:41 am

    While “Fashion” and “fun” are two words that I personally would never put together, I really enjoyed this piece. Maybe if I “tune in” every Friday, some of your sense of fun and adventure about clothes shopping will rub off on me?

  • Dr. Patricia Yarberry Allen March 30, 2012 at 8:20 am

    You are a gorgeous girl and know what looks good on you. I have known you too long to listen to this.

  • Elizabeth Turner March 30, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Pat looks stunning in these beautiful clothes! However, they would not look good on a woman like myself who may be in the age demographic but who is 40 pounds overweight! A fantasy indeed.

  • lynne h. March 30, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Wow! Thank you for the panoply of gorgeous outfits! It’s always helpful to see what the gold standard is; now I can run off to my favorite neighborhood boutiques and steal, errr, emulate Dr. Allen’s impeccable choices.
    This is what Vogue needs- a “what to wear after your forties” feature!


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