I am a cold weather lady. In my personal hierarchy of seasons, I would live eternally in winter and fall, way-laying Spring, and forever bidding adieu to the blistering heat of summer. Thus, you can imagine my thrill at having my favorite sartorial season garner not just one, but two runway moments per year. Just weeks away from fall/winter fashion month’s kick-off in New York City, we’ve seen an outpouring of pre-fall collections from some of the industry’s most illustrious designers. Whetting our appetite for fall fashion, and providing us with just the eye candy we need in these mid-winter months, here are my picks for top pre-fall collections.
Lanvin. Hands down my favorite pre-fall collection. Shot in an asymmetrical wonderland, styled flawlessly with incredible statement-making jewelry, and accessorized with an assortment of wild animals, Alber Elbaz went all out in this insouciant pre-fall collection. Describing his inspiration for this elaborate display of design prowess, Elbaz says, â€œIt’s about real women’s needs and desires…why save the best dishes for the guests?â€ A philosophy to live by, indeed.
Louis Vuitton. One of the standout elements in this group of pre-fall collections is the styling of their presentation. A tarty, very modern, confident collection, Louis Vuitton’s 2011 pre-fall looks evoke the spirit of the 1920s and â€˜30s, set against the aged, Art Deco molding of the LVMH 57th Street Magic Room. Wide and long-legged pants are paired with chic tweeds and belted jackets. Fur-embellished outwear resounds in striking colors. Resplendent with exacting detail and bold patterning, this collection is a dream for the uber-chic woman on the go.
Rochas. What I found so enchanting about Marco Zanini’s first pre-fall collection for Rochas was its awkward-chic depression era glamour. Longer skirts, both straight and pleated, are styled with slouchy socks and flat loafers. A collection that, on the whole, hangs straight and errs on the side of the oversized, there is a quiet confidence in its approachable aesthetic. Feminine, yet unassuming, Rochas for pre-fall embraces the woman who exudes her own sense of style.
Celine. Phoebe Philo’s sleek, clean-lined collection for Celine’s pre-fall is filled with surprises. Bursts of color peek out from the lining of a coat, or a stripe of fabric on a legging. The collection employs a nearly egregious (if it weren’t done so well) mix of fabrics with her multi-paneled, all denim looks, and a unique, mismatched color palate that works surprisingly well. Overall, Philo stays classic in silhouette and whimsically exploits fabric in a standout collection that shines with chic urbanity.
Balenciaga. Like all Balenciaga collections, this one is rife with attitude. Boldly patterned coats and tunics are layered over slim, ankle-length pants, and set against a backdrop of floral wallpaper. It’s the edgy infusions to GhesquiÃ¨re’s designs which infinitely set his collections apart. A beautiful trapeze coat and elegant red heels are paired next to a shocking purple fur coat styled with tennis shoes. 1950s florals shine romantically alongside the grunge aesthetic of â€˜80s animal prints and shredded tights. Urban wearability at its very finest, this collection is for the downtown lady looking to make a serious statement.
Photos: Pre-Fall 2011 RTW, style.com
Image Layout: Molly Murphy