With no real schedule or timeline, defining exactly when the pre-fall season lands can be confusing. Some houses, like Valentino, showed their collections as far back as November; under Pierpaolo Piccioli‘s lead, the clothes, models and beauty teams jetted off to Tokyo to execute the designer’s vision of East-meets-West, inspired by the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi, as well as Brooke Shields in the ’80s. Then, in December, Chanel staged a majestic showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In front of a 2,000-year-old Egyptian temple, Karl Lagerfeld added scarab-blue and gold flecks to the house’s signature tweeds.
But it wasn’t all fanfare and spectacle: Up until this week (and perhaps even next), many designers are opting to reveal their offerings for the season more quietly. At Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, Raf Simons hosted a tightly-selected group of editors at the company headquarters in Paris for what would be his last collection for the brand. Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, on the other hand, opted to release lookbooks; while Vuitton’s was cast with Nicolas Ghesquière’s celebrity muses (Jennifer Connelly, Riley Keough, Michelle Williams, Indya Moore, Alicia Vikander, Chloë Grace Moretz and more), Gucci’s Alessandro Michele tapped Harmony Korine to capture an offbeat group of models eating snacks in the historical streets of Pompeii.
As fragmented as the season is, it should not be underestimated. Commercially crucial pre-fall collections remain on the shop floor longer than any other season, and serve as an evolution of the spring season that just past — as well as a teaser of what’s to come when the fall collections hit in February.
With that in mind, here are seven trends we’re keeping an eye on — some are completely new, while others are more familiar.
Tie-dye’s reign is set to continue for another season. Following on from Spring 2019, the trend was reworked and executed best by New York-based brands; favorites that jump to mind include Collina Strada, Proenza Schouler and Prabal Gurung.
Dresses Over Pants
Designers across the board offered a practical solution to tricky in-between season dressing: Wear your dress over your pants. On a cool, windy day your bare legs will be thankful.
The ’80s were still a major source of inspiration for designers this season. Continuing from the spring collections, there were leggy party dresses at Versace, power suits at Gucci and shoulders up to the ears at Givenchy.
Another nod to the ’80s, voluminous pants showed up in multiple Pre-Fall 2019 collections. Some came with a sharp pleated-front (read: Altuzarra, Chloé and Carolina Herrera), while others came in acid-wash à la Balmain and Gucci.
All that’s gold does glitter when it comes to next season. Designers could not get enough of the stuff, but Chanel’s Egyptian-inspired collection included the most dazzling take on the trend.
The pre-fall school girl is rich, eclectic and prefers her skirt down to her ankles — not her thigh, thank you. Pressed and proper, you’ll find her shopping for tailoring at Thom Browne, kicking it in MSGM and sneaking out the back window in Missoni.