The pre-Fall 2015 collections invite us into some transitional style secrets as we contemplate our sartorial journey from summer to winter. Colour coordination reaches new heights and addressing our inner tomboy is de rigueur. Pick a pre-Fall trend from our edit and take a little step into autumn.
By Natalie Trevis
Girl Meets Boy
Fashion and androgyny have journeyed hand in hand since Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking tuxedo set a generation free from the confines of gender-defined dressing. The pre-Fall collections only elevate the fashion world’s love of all clothes masculine. What could be simpler than a black crew neck jumper over a crisp white shirt, all tucked into pleat-front trousers? The answer is nothing and yet in Giorgio Armani’s hands, this is everything. The look is cut in such a way that boy meets girl and girl falls for exquisite tailoring without compromising femininity. With a more refined touch than the slouchy blazers and utilitarian jumpsuits that marched the SS15 runways, the tomboy look for pre-Fall is largely monochromatic and chimes more with a sense of simplicity than overt masculinity. Narciso Rodriguez defines the movement, like Armani, with simple silhouettes – a cautious v-neck and wide-leg trouser – that favour form over fantasy.
Rebellions always come full circle. Now that we are experts at clashing prints, defying codes about matching shoes with handbags and playing with colour block combinations that make the eyes water, pre-Fall invites us to once again think head-to-toe. Tomas Maier at Bottega Veneta tackles two trends at once – leather and mono-colour – in the form of a summer leather skirt suit in tangerine, its subtle paneling and neat proportions ensuring that that the look remains understated rather than cloying. Emilio Pucci effects the trend in a vertical stripe, the multicoloured streaks of taupe and bubble gum pink on a long-sleeved tunic and moderate flares offering an elongated take on the continuing Seventies silhouettes. Play the game for pre-Fall: It’s all about the match.
Eveningwear evolves from floral-heavy bohemia into something a little darker. A high waist and full skirt flatters every form, while sedate beading and meandering floral appliqué add depth to the darkness. Valentino’s stars and galaxies take us to the moon and back and Alexander McQueen’s uber-cinched 19th century dress coat evokes a sense of historical beauty that is perfect for evening adventures.
Beige is no longer for blending in. The palest sand tone graduates through stone and into buff for pre-Fall, providing a cleansing palette of minimalism that is resplendent when executed in every style of coat, jacket and jumpsuit.
Animal print roars back into our wardrobes but this time in an abstract form that prefers subtlety over ostentation. With hunting, hiking and horseback riding as prominent themes Altuzarra tapped into all things British, adding a decidedly Anglo-French twist to leopard print. Traditional leopard roared from shift dresses and pencil skirts, while an artistic take on a utility jacket abstracts the print for a subtle dose of animal magic. Lanvin’s graphic print in tones of grey fuses effortlessly with the soft drape of a cascading skirt. Paired with a feather embellished t-shirt, Alber Elbaz brings together high and (luxe) low to encapsulate the easy mode of dressing that pre-Fall is all about. Max Mara took a more literal approach to the big cat, with a fierce feline face adorning belted outerwear. Taking us back to Christopher Kane’s SS09 gorilla motifs or Givenchy’s pre-Fall 2012 barking Rottweiler, the big cats strike a tasteful note across elegantly tailored and luxurious fabrics. Not known for a sports-inspired aesthetic, Versace’s pre-Fall collection nonetheless takes us on an athletic ride where bold colours rule, animal prints unite with complex houndstooth and tech fabrics give swinging skirts a neat strength.