Thursday, January 31, 2013

Speaking Softly

After being left fairly disappointed by the Spring/Summer2013 season, I was relieved to find myself instantly caught up in what the designers were offering for pre-fall. Peplums faded into the background. Fur didn’t cover every conceivable surface. Maybe everyone realized, just for a moment and all at once, that our collective economic doldrums still have a way to go before fading away, and that there can be beauty in things that aren’t so ostensibly "luxe”.

Of course pre-fall has always been a workhorse season, more practical than resort and less weighed down by all of the ambitions and expectations tied to the major seasons. Maybe that’s why in the past few years it has become my favorite. Because I like things that don’t speak so loudly or try so hard.

White and black, in all of their various incarnations and interpretations, dominated the color story. The whites moved from soft and sweet to hard and futuristic and back again.

At Chloé

At Prabal Gurung

At Narciso Rodriguez

At Christian Dior

The blacks traveled from rich and lovely to stark and intimidating with much the same fluidity.

At Lanvin

At Nina Ricci

Leather once again played the role of everything from simple accent to full garment. But as opposed to awkwardly residing in the balmy days of midsummer as it has in recent years, it was instead waiting for the first autumn breeze.

At Bottega Veneta

Prints and patterns, once only a common sight on the runways of London, continued to be played with in new and refreshing ways by designers in every city.

At Carven

At Honor

At Milly

At Marni

At Roberto Cavalli

After so much recent focus on The Lady in all of her various forms, menswear-inspired looks returned to the fore. From the schoolboy to the businessmen, they could could be seen everywhere but always with a slight nod to the feminine.

At Barbara Bui

Even when designers gave themselves over to drama, it was only for a moment. A sleeve here. A skirt there. They pulled it back and toned it down.

At Giambattista Valli

At Louis Vuitton

At Gucci

At Donna Karan

At Michael Kors

At Lela Rose

There are times when I like a show, but for all those other times, there was pre-fall 2013.

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