The pre-fall collections are rolling in. The season that remains at retail the longest each year is a powerhouse for brands and retailers—in other words, pay attention: These are the clothes we’ll be wearing in a few months’ time.
This article first appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US
Bottega Veneta tapped the creative set to showcase its Pre-Fall collection, lensed by Tyrone Lebon. Notables including musicians Kenzie Musician and Arca, poet Caleb Femi, dancer Ellen van Schuylenburch, and actors Little Simz and Malachi Kirby, among others posed in under the intense glow of a flash in pieces that leverage sequins, bold colours including lime green, turquoise and cherry red, and exaggerated suiting. Shoes are square toe and sparkly or chunky and of the boot variety. It’s cool kid fashion and the best part is that it hits the sales floor soon.
Gabriela Hearst is a designer who loves artists—and showed her appreciation by tapping some local NYC fine artists to model her most recent collection. Current and former Pioneer Works residents Genesis Belanger, Ari Melenciano, Caroline Garcia, and Kara Gut showcase the minimal-smart line on location at the community art building in Red Hook, Brooklyn at sunset.
Global travel by green screen becomes a promising message for the future in the hands of Demna Gvasalia for his Balenciaga Pre-Winter lookbook. The images by Patrick Welde feature models in the collection superimposed on iconic tourist destinations—from the Great Wall on—and are accompanied by a “Feel Good” video by “Feel Good Video” made in collaboration with artists Kamilya Kuspanova and Anton Bialas, and Heejoon Kwak. The 58-look offering is 90.6% certified sustainable and unisex, with comfort wear like sweatpants paired with trench coats, baggy denim, “faux furs” created out of recycled cotton, printed dresses, and the brand’s re-released moto bags in every size imaginable. Baseball caps are imprinted with a stencil stamp that reads Balenciaga Apparel Rentals and sweatshirts are emblazoned with a “Gay Pride” logo in the iconic GAP font. There are track suits and padded coats, parkas and fleece jackets, and a voluminous dress that’s part archive Balenciaga, part Princess Di’s wedding gown. An entire wardrobe for the future as imagined by Demna.
Nicolas Ghesquière drew upon three stylistic pillars of Louis Vuitton under his leadership: Tech Romanticism, Energetic Sportswear, and Rediscovering Essentials for Pre-Fall 21. The results are vibrant, truly sporty, and very LV. Stacy Martin serves as the ambassador of the Pre-Fall 2021 collection, photographed by Nicolas Ghesquière. The brand is calling the look, “Nouvelle Vague.”
“Stacy has innate elegance and an inspiring personality,” the designer says, “I have a lot of respect for her career path, her bold choices and the roles she takes on. I very much enjoyed photographing Stacy. So cool and laid-back, I love the way she wears my collections.”
According to a release for Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez latest, Pre Fall 2021, “advocates for a way of dressing that is free of unnecessary complication, while celebrating the joy of dressing up in all its tactile, material, andsensual glory, and as an antidote to the increasingly challenging times we are living in.”
Max Mara, for the pre-fall season, looked to Elizabeth “Lee” Miller for inspiration. The fashion and art photographer is know for being a war correspondent for glossies during WWII, which is reflected in the military-style tailoring, large pockets, and utility belts.
Bohemia is a characteristic that is embedded in the Etro‘s DNA. The Italian label’s pre-fall 2021 collection, however, was far more rhapsodic. From the shearling-lined vests to to the ’70s-style, animal-print suits, the entire lineup is the stuff of rock legends.
“Ultimately, what I am trying to do in the Givenchy collections is to reflect today’s world,” said Matthew M. Williams, the brand’s newly appointed creative director. “I appreciate a certain material experimentation and an intense contrast in clothing that could only be achieved and exist now. At the same time, we embrace tradition, the techniques of the salon and timelessness; these distinct elements are not mutually exclusive. The clothing is not disposable or dictatorial, instead we want it to become central to a person’s sense of their own style, and build each season. It’s an idea of a more personal luxury, of simultaneous formality and informality, construction and comfort; it’s the luxury of people wearing clothes, not clothes wearing people.”
Designer Jeremy Scott’s latest lineup focuses on combining found objects to form looks—sweatsuits mixed with silk, dresses with Baroque patterns, and double-breasted suits with gold buttons in the shape of teddy bears—that are characteristically Moschino. “I always want to have fun with it,” said Scott. “And, with this collection, that joy was found in looking back and fusing together different moments from mine and Moschino’s visual language over the years.”
Maria Grazia Chiuri wrote a love letter to Paris for Pre-Fall 21. Inspired by a host of creatives, including designer Elio Fiorucci, Andy Warhol, and Renaissance painters like Paolo Uccello and Mizza Bricard, the results are pure Parisian Dior—from leopard prints, to the famed Barr jacket, logo track suits, and joie de vivre to spare.
With NYC as a starting point, designer Wes Gordon designed a collection of, “fresh, spirited, and buoyant—miniskirts, polka dots and A-line silhouettes in vibrant hues.”
“The collection is all about living loudly and proudly and playing with extremes,” he explains, “Let a short skirt be short, let a full sleeve be full.”
Designers Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim looked to their pre-fall collection through an optimistic lens, with an eye toward vibrant colours, the codes of the house, and a summer of playfulness and whimsy.
“Lucie and Luke Meier have designed this collection mirroring this diversity, these ambiguous times, combining and balancing apparently conflicting elements. The result is relaxed and playful.”
“Showing Château de Chenonceau, at the Château des Dames, was an obvious choice,” Virginie Viard says. “It was designed and lived in by women, including Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici. It is a castle on a human scale.” The collection itself is a melding of “the Renaissance and romanticism, between rock and something very girly, it is all very Chanel.” Indeed.