Here we go again, breathlessly zig-zagging through the latest updates of our tireless, self-reinventing muse – Fashion! In other words, the pre-fall collections are breaking through, some of which present themselves as ‘continuations of spring’, others as pure Sptember-through-November delights! Holidays are always the perfect excuse for wide-eyed wishes, optimistic plans for the year to come (yees, we cannot resist making the same mistake over again – I wonder how many of us actually even remember those New Year’s Eve plans and wishes, once life gets back to its boring course) and… gifts! Tons of gifts, I tell you. Even if most of them don’t get to be finger-tipped at all. The greatest gift for me is having the time and peace of mind to indulge in the latest fashion, so pre-fall has come right on time! Can’t imagine anything better than browsing through style.com near the Christmas tree and a plate of cake drowned in chocolate! (Well, forget the cake, the biggest nightmare would be not being able to slip into my party dress on New Year’s Eve:) )
The more time passes by, the more I realise that Karl Lagerfeld’s outings for Chanel are summed up by meticulously crafted fantasy, based almost entirely on a distinguishable theme, rationally developed through very elaborated detailing and unexpected textures, while the clothes themselves are actually quite simple and classical – the signature Chanel smart skirt suit, the tweeds, the simple tops and dresses, the statement bags, the two-toned shoes – all done with a twist, here and there. This time Mr. Lagerfeld turned to India for inspiration, although, as he himself stated, he’s never been to India, which is quite funny because most of the designers who incorporate ethnical references in their collections are inspired by their trips. Still, most of the looks at Chanel were brilliant – I was especially wowed by the pant suit with layered blazers and by the (re)interpretation of the harem pants.
The slightly toned-down note of pre-fall is probably due to the retail-friendliness that these clothes bear, and also because the amount of work necessary to stay committed to the huge expectations for the fall/winter and spring/summer seasons is unimaginable. Still, even the designers choosing to stay within their comfort zone can hardly deliver something less than covetable. Although Carolina Ferrera’s outing wasn’t so unexpected and new, it encapsulated the best of her house: perfect midi and maxi dresses in utterly elegant colors and fabrics, exquisite outerwear and evening gowns ready to hit the red carpet. Ladylike at its fullest potential!
Jason Wu is among the increasing number of designers who have started to treat the pre-collections every bit as seriously as the main fall and spring ones, and this shows in every one of the 35 remarkable looks from his pre-fall collection. Wu cited Indian maharajas and the illustrations of Charlie Harper as inspirations, and I couldn’t help but notice a touch of Frida Kahlo as well – especially in the hair and make-up. The result – structural, smart tailoring with great attention to details and texture, and perfectly crafted, hand-embroidered evening gowns.
As far as I can remember, it may be the first time that I happen to be very much into a collection by Michael Kors. His signature American casual minimalism is usually less than mind-blowing, but this time around, Kors went a bit farther than that, with an unexpected mix of uptown chic ensembles (despite of the Western influence, as seen in accessories- cowboy hats, boots and belts), pairing together utterly versatile separates. We can already spot a number of must-have pieces for the New York gals strolling around the Upper East Side: a statement coat (be it structural and simple, in pop-up orange, with a fur collar, or with a touch of wit (see the one with the deconstructed collar or that one with lace insert), a draped skirt/dress with that amazingly flattering ‘short in the front, long in the back’ effect, a two-toned fur vest or skirt, and nevertheless, a harnessed bag – instant retail hit, I’d say.
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta is best known (and most beloved by red carpet veterans) for his way of celebrating womanly shapes and natural elegance – we could call him the New York based Valentino – , by means of creating exquisite pieces with a clean cut and a luxury approach to fabric and beading, whilst also incorporating color and print . This collection revolves around the house’s signature hits: lightweight silk dresses in sorbet colors, embroidered and bright-colored coats, taffeta puffed skirts, heavily beaded couture gowns. Standouts were also dresses and skirt suits in Rothko-esque prints and flare trousers in yellow or blue.
Reed Krakoff has been thinking a lot of uniform dressing – hence the development of his formerly used baseball shaped tee, translated into structured sweaters and coats, made of panels of wool, leather and felt. The color pallette is simple, but used to its best potential: black&white, grey and brown, vibrant green and peach pink. The accessories are also as amazing as it gets: pointed heels with a razor-like high heel and glossy frame bags.
Thakoon’s pre-fall number is fresh and dreamy, like the first days of autumn chilly breeze. The silhouettes are girly, almost like schoolgirl uniforms (pairings of wool panelled sweaters with puffed full skirts, preppy shirtdresses with wool sleeves, jackets with boxy sleeves and wool coats with fur insert). As usual, the colors (pastel earth tones) are the perfect add-up to these extremely wearable, witty designs.
…To be continued, I’m heading to style.com as we speak, to see what the Proenza Schouler guys have been up to lately.
Cheers to everyone!