“Pre-collections are where you really dress a lot,” said Chloé’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi of her own Pre-Fall line, but the statement applies to the season broadly. Rather than churn out dozens of big new ideas, designers are saving their showstopping propositions for the Fall 2018 shows that are just around the corner and instead turned an eye to practical, stylish clothing that women can actually, you know, wear.
That’s not to say the 200-odd shows we’ve covered on are boring. Comb through them closely and you can find the kernels of what could become Fall 2018’s biggest ideas—like a decidedly arty tent dress in a wild pattern or a tough cinched waist created by either a bold belt or a darted blazer. We’re showcasing those ideas and more, here. Familiarize yourselves with them now—the list will come in handy when you start shopping for your high summer look.
The Skinny Mini
Miniskirts never go out of style, but the thigh-grazing length hasn’t been at the forefront of fashion for some time. Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to resurrect the silhouette with his swinging ’60s Pre-Fall collection for Chanel. At Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli saw the mini through the lens of the debauched ’80s, while Stuart Vevers put a rocker spin on it at Coach 1941.
With the public’s appetite for denim slowing, designers are looking to cargos as the must-have pants of Pre-Fall. Whether you step into Sonia Rykiel’s wide-leg pair or something slinkily tailored à la Dsquared2, consider the low-key trousers a welcome piece in your wardrobe with plenty of pockets to store your iPhone, credit cards, lip balm, and other fall 2018 couture beauty trends necessities.
Some of Pre-Fall’s most standout dresses are decidedly unsexy. Big tent shapes in wild prints appeared everywhere from Gucci to Giamba, proving that an arty frock has wide appeal.
So, you’re anti-smock frock? Fret not. Designers are bringing back slinkiness with body-conscious, ruched dresses like the ones seen at Preen and Etro. Even daywear comes with a little shirring at Derek Lam 10 Crosby.
Cats, and dogs, and birds, oh my! It’s a literal zoo at the Pre-Fall collections, with animals becoming a favorite motif at Givenchy, Erdem, and Stella McCartney.
The return of the power suit has been one of fashion’s most prominent trends of late. For Pre-Fall, designers from Jil Sander’s Luke and Lucie Meier to Zac Posen are rethinking the silhouette with a more feminine nipped-in waist.
Belt du Jour
Speaking of the waist, Koché’s Christelle Kocher, Joseph Altuzarra, and Sonia Rykiel’s Julie de Libran, among others, put the emphasis on the midsection this season with bold, sometimes logo-ed statement belts.
The New New Trench
Trenchcoats are about as classic as they come, which has made the item ripe for a runway subversion. This season, the shape comes single- or double-breasted and adorned with a myriad of patterns, from tiger print at Roberto Cavalli to furry hearts at Fendi. When the weather is so unpredictable, a great coat is an essential—so why reach for a boring trench?
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