Sunday, 24 June 2012

A Pre-collection Convert

The speed of the fashion calendar has caught up with me once more as despite Summer 2012 not officially starting for another few days, we've already been given a glimpse of what Summer 2013 may be like with the recent pre-collections. A slight pre-collection cynic, I tend to lend them past me by in anticipation for the more exciting headline shows, but as their presence gains more and more importance, especially with them having the highest sales for many labels, I decided to embrace this in-betweeny stage and enjoy what it has to offer. With collections that show a more wearable and commercial side of a brand whilst keeping true to its aesthetic, I think I may have now become a pre-collection convert. 

Alexander McQueen - Earlier this week, McQueen's CEO announced his desire for the label to become Britain's best luxury ready-to-wear brand and this collection seems to show they're well on the way to achieving that goal. An element of the the futuristic theme seen in the Autumn/Winter show remains with silver shades, pointed shoulders and giant belt clasps whilst looking back at the '70s in flared trousers. The sharp monochromatic tailoring contrasted perfectly with an exquisitely draped orange strapless gown in the evening section, which also featured black and gold dresses varying from sleek column styles to ruffled layers.

Erdem - Quite a conservative collection from the man-of-the-moment year/last year/year before that with lengths remaining just under or over the knee and featuring high necks, tweed designs and modest shifts. Evidently though, it was enlivened with his distinctive array of bold prints; blue hues elegantly evolved into rose pinks with patchwork-like prints delivering a slightly different style to usual. A bright pink knitted jumper over a silk floral shirt paired with a large floral designed a-line skirt had to be a favourite of mine. 

Burberry Prorsum - This seems to me to be the epitome of a good pre-collection; an offering more focused on wearable, simpler pieces and workwear - tailoring itself more to Spring than to Summer with its muted palette. Acting as a transition between the last collection and the next, the high-waisted skirts and tees seemed to reflect the A/W collection whilst suggesting that Burberry's Spring Summer display will move away from cord and tweed coats towards leather and bomber jackets. The knitwear was simple and lustful, paired with tapered trousers and shorts -  a unisex pair included - and the evening wear featured sleek and elegant designs.

Jonathan Saunders - Despite a few colour combinations which weren't particularly pleasing to my eyes, Saunders' collection was reminiscent of the A/W show but its bold prints and sleeker silhouettes moved the pieces into a brighter season.

It's more of a wardrobe suggestion as opposed to a silhouette suggestion or message for the season - Jonathan Saunders

Peter Pilotto: A brand known for its psychedelic prints, this offering was no different and through more futuristic, a mastery of print clashing was seen;  for any still doubtful of this trend, look at this brand for assurance. Dress and skirt lengths were mainly short, trouser legs varied from skinny to straighter fits; but similarly to the previously discussed collections, necks were quite high and classic clean-cut shirts seem to be a must for this season - or whatever this stage is called. 

Stella McCartney: Beautifully presented on a marble floor with a glistening mirror nearby, Stella chose a softer, more pastel palette compared to the electric blues featured in March. Leopard prints appeared in oversized jackets and coats; antique floral prints began in soft yellows and transformed into rich oranges on pencil skirts and skirt suits, and checks featured on pleated skirts or trouser suits. . A cute pastel knit is worn over a buttoned up shirt (a new crisp white shirt is on the wish list)  and white tapered trousers whose extra-long lengths were slightly baffling. The latter part of the collection was slightly more demure and a 20s feel emerged with subtle fringing - the best being over a delicate white lace dress. Once again, Stella achieves the perfect balance between feminine delicacy with the exquisite tailoring giving it the edge. 

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