In the time between September and February Fashion Weeks—between Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter lines—there’s pre-fall. Designers unveil these smaller capsule collections in less formal runway shows, presentations, trunk shows, or parties.
Aesthetically, pre-fall offers a preview of designs to come in official fall collections. Pre-fall is also commercially aimed, allowing serious shoppers to get a head start on upcoming trends. Many lines are already available for purchase at Moda Operandi, though most will be available in later months.
See the five most prevalent trends from these pre-fall collections—because they’ll most likely determine 2017’s fashion.
It’s well-known that fashion recycles itself, and while we turned up our noses at flared pants over the past decade or so, wide-legged bottoms are making a comeback. While skinny cuts aren’t necessarily obsolete yet, designers are bringing back bell bottoms from the early 2000s and the mid-’70s.
Diane von Furstenberg, who introduced the iconic wrap dress, has always emphasized simple, elegant silhouettes that skim a woman’s curves just the right amount—like the flared leg does. Likewise, Jonathan Simkhai’s entire pre-fall collection focuses on making soft, casual fabrics (including sweats) into more dressy pieces, just as he does with his effortlessly professional flared pants.
Chanel has forever championed the timeless pantsuit, even before Hillary Clinton came into the spotlight. And while the pantsuit has been associated more politically recently, Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld gave the professional ensemble just the right touch of playful. The pre-fall show itself was held at the Ritz Paris where a star-studded cast of models (including Cara DeLevingne and Pharrell Williams) danced around the dining room—the entire show exuded a cosmopolitanism that doesn’t take itself too seriously, just like the pantsuit shouldn’t. Other designers opted for looser silhouettes and softer fabrics, like velvet, to portray the same idea of a pantsuit—simply a matching top and bottom that can be worn in the office or out to party.
Make sheer non-scandalous again. Versace and Valentino both tactfully used floral embroidery and beading to “cover up” where necessary, but many designers this season fully embraced the “free the nip” concept. The Red Valentino Flower Embroidered Tulle Long Sleeve Dress redefines what it means to dress “modestly.” The lace trim, puffy sleeves, pleated skirt, and maxi length all contribute to a romantic silhouette that the peekaboo lingerie feels almost innocent.
While sheer is becoming less controversial, midi cuts are becoming less modest and more modern. Longer hemlines no longer need to be associated with conservative dressing, and long skirts don’t always signify formal, red carpet looks anymore. The periwinkle Red Valentino Silk Georgette dress strikes a balance with semi-sheer translucency and the longer, Victorian-flowing length.
Coach has been making an extra effort to appeal to millennials recently—by not only signing Chloe Grace Moretz and Selena Gomez as muses, but by holding an unforgettable show at New York’s Pier 94 for its 75th anniversary. Coach showcased plenty of mid-calf-length skirts and even jackets, reviving the traditional midi cut into something more youthful with the use of bold logos and graphics.
Tight and straight silhouettes also give the midi hemline a more sensual appeal. Tome’s pre-fall collection focuses the attention on the waist—not just with bodycon dresses, but with loosely-tied bows, belts, and wraps.
Other designers add more volume to the midi length, like Phillip Lim’s parachute silhouette.
Oscar de la Renta is classically known for its full gowns and skirts, but now that they’re cropped above the ankle, it makes the concept of “dressing up” more casual.
For Marchesa Notte, the sibling line of Marchesa, the mid-calf cuts are meant for twirling—with shimmer that hits the light in all the right spots and volume to make the spin just dramatic enough.
Fur is everywhere. While minimalist designs and silhouettes will never lose merit, there’s something so glamorous about the concept of “more is more.” While fur has typically been used in neutral, natural tones, designers are going bolder by adding color.
Fendi, like Chanel with Karl Lagerfeld as creative director, has always epitomized the hyper-luxurious—and fur is the best example of that. Lagerfeld has boldly innovated by weaving, stripping, dyeing, embroidering, even mimicking fur, giving the beloved texture a modern appeal.
Roberto Cavalli’s entire pre-fall collection has fur in almost every look, from full fur coats to fur lined or cuffed jackets, to small fur embellishments. In lieu of fur, feathers are being used to create a similar effect, like Erdem’s colored feather jackets tied with satin bows.
It doesn’t need to be said that fashion is just as much about how we look as how we feel, and fur offers just the right amount of flamboyance to feel fabulous.
For those who can’t yet embrace a full-sized fur, the material has been used in moderation to embellish any outfit. With fur stoles, collars, wraps, and even pom-poms for purses, the options are endless.