Taking place in December and January each year, the pre-fall (or resort) collections started out as clothes for rich people to wear on holiday. But for many designers they’re now a major cash cow, representing the largest proportion of their annual sales, outstripping their main spring and winter drops. Usually unveiled as static presentations to journalists and editors, rather than the full scale biannual fashion week bonanzas, pre-fall can give a taster of what a designer has got up their sleeve for autumn/winter. With fashion month now less than four weeks away, I’m looking at eight major designers’ offerings to see what pre-fall trends have emerged.
Gone were the polka dots, Chessboard print and zingy yellows of Spring, replaced by funereal florals, jacquard frocks and lots of black. This was still a trip to Marc Jacobs’ favourite decade, however – babydolls, minis and sixties stripes abounded.
Take a pair of black slim cut cigarette pants or a knee-length pencil skirt, pair with a jacket belted tightly at the waist and a pair of shiny patent t-bar courts there you have it, the perfectly preened 1950′s silhouetted pre-fall Gucci girl. She’s also got a bit of a penchant for turquoise and moss green.
Sharing signatures with both Gucci and Vuitton, Erdem Moralioglu’s pre-fall girl also has a thing for pant suits (but hers are crisp and pajama-like), collared frocks, and this time green of a vibrant forest hue. Featuring fewer ballgowns than his usual mainline shows, this was a very wearable and distinctly ladylike collection.
Steering clear of the frou-frou fronds he sometimes favours, Wu’s pre-fall woman had more va-va-voom than a Ferrari full of buxom belladonnas. Sequins, sheer panels, black leather – sometimes all on the same outfit. He also threw in a load of stripes, mainly in chevrons, and plumped for lots of emerald. It’s official, green is the colour of pre-fall 2013.
Stripes emerged as a big story for pre-fall, not least at DKNY. Horizontal, diagonal, in chevrons – whichever way they went, they were black, white or grey. Even the knee-high gladiator sandals (what do we call them, gladi-boots?) in black and white that accompanied every look created a striped effect on the leg. Where colour did appear it was beautiful – silky pants and shirt dresses in dense raspberry pink, azure and purple looked as inviting as – there’s that word again – pajamas.
Alber Elbaz’s femme fatale took on an ornate and, at times, animalistic bent for pre-fall. For every bead-encrusted LBD or pair of black leather gauntlet gloves, there was a feathered hem, a zebra pelt or leopard print coat. A scarlet red strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline was virtually the only flash of colour.
Scarlet was littered throughout a collection from Preen for which the phrase ‘punk princess’ couldn’t be more apt, given its juxtaposition of red tartan, wet-look leather, manly tailoring and good-girl dresses. It was apparently based on The Hunger, a 1983 film starring David Bowie. Given Bowie’s current status as front runner for man of the year 2013, they might be on to something there.
McQ by Alexander Mcqueen
Also trotting down a Highland path, the little sister brand of the McQueen stable offered a smattering of red tartan looks, alongside some thick outdoorsy knitwear and coats. The peplum was reworked as a stiff, ruffled flourish sitting right below a cinched in waist, and a few pops of the label’s signature digital prints were delivered in fuchsia and sunset orange.
The major trends of pre-fall 2013 include femme fatale sensuality; stripes stripes stripes; and any colour as long as it’s green.