Colours of Paris. Saint Laurent Pre-Fall 2020

While Saint Laurent‘s pre-fall 2020 is released just now – the moment when the clothes hit the stores – it has the clues of the main, runway collection which we’ve seen back in March. It was Anthony Vaccarello‘s big success with colour, something so distinct and signature for Yves. “I started really enjoying those mixes of colors with the pre-fall” Vaccarello said. “It gave me the idea and desire to continue it for winter. I always thought that [color] was not my thing… but with time I have to say I just love mixing those improbable colors together, like in a painting.” With autumn there isn’t the same maitresse vibe of winter, but instead a softer, warmer approach, using color -mainly warm rust, ochre, a deep leafy green – in a judicious way so that it exalts and amplifies the kind of pieces Vaccarello sees as his perfect super-chic, super-Parisian wardrobe. That could mean a red velvet jacket over a white open-neck blouse and with beaten-up jeans. Or it could mean a kingfisher silk blouse gleaming from beneath an ocelot-like furry bomber and leather ski pants, the shade of blue set off beautifully by a hippieish gold metal belt. The other narrative threaded throughout this season at Saint Laurent are the 1970s. Here the decade is given a different cultural context by Vaccarello. He’s not looking so much at the likes of Betty Catroux or Loulou de la Falaise, but instead Jane Fonda. “[She] is always relevant, for everything she did in the ’70s and also for what she is still doing,” he said. “She is committed and active and never afraid to stand for her beliefs.” Incidentally, the year that her feminist-empowering thriller Klute came out – 1971 – was the very same year that Yves himself sent out his controversial ’40s-by-way-of-the-’70s collection. There are shades of both in this Saint Laurent autumn: the button-through skirt in leather or patchworked denim; the fluffy chubby; the squared-off shoulder line of a double-breasted jacket. I must admit that Vaccarello’s way of doing things at Saint Laurent gets better and better with time.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Stripped-Back. Christopher Kane Pre-Fall 2020

For pre-fall 2020 – which got launched on-line in the middle of corona – Christopher Kane was thinking about making “a stripped-back collection,” a line-up addressing his label’s most distinct codes: “sharp tailoring, flounces, bell skirts, and chain mail”, as he told Vogue Runway. Although the process of designing the collection took place well before the pandemic broke in Europe, it has a concept that might really work well business-wise for other brands in the future. A well-edited pack of looks that clearly states what the brand is all about (in case of Kane: an intelligent, at times quirky, take on sexuality), a serve of few bold silhouettes that will actually sell (love the flared midi-skirts in electric red), something fun (the Naturotica t-shirts!) and in general, items that feel relevant and… desirable.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Dreaming of a Party. Miu Miu Pre-Fall 2020

While pre-collections might soon become outdated thanks to Gucci’s Alessandro Michele smart move, a few look-book line-ups (photographed in pre-corona times) got recently dropped as the new season is slowly popping in stores (as if anybody actually bought anything from the spring-summer offerings…). Miu Miu‘s pre-fall 2020 foreshadows the main collection’s thread, which was about glamour and the joy of dressing up, from a young woman’s point of view. The visuals by Douglas Irvine suggests the mix of feelings a person might have before any party or wedding reception. Excitement. Anxiety. “Get the party started“. “Not going“. “Ok, fine, I’m coming!” It’s a heavy throwback to late 1960s and early 1970s, and quite possibly Miuccia Prada reflected on her own style navigation from that time. Some of the dresses – especially the prairie baby doll fits and the maxi ones with vintage-y ruffles – made you think of Batsheva and The Vampire’s Wife signature specialties. Miu Miu has them in arty patchwork pattern prints, and it seems that the label didn’t think of using pre-existing fabric leftovers for the collection. And that’s a pity, as it would really make sense in the current sustainability conversation the industry is having. The rest of the collection was quintessentially Miu Miu: so-odd-it’s-good colour clashes, knitted tights, cute embroideries and embellishments, fun faux-fur stoles. Of course, back in 2019 when that collection was being finalised, nobody had a clue that 2020 would be that crap. Yet still, I’ve got to ask this: where will she wear those dresses? Thanks god we’ve got Zoom parties…

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, look-books photos by Douglas Irvine for Miu Miu.

Refined Classics. The Row Pre-Fall 2020

We try to be thoughtful. It’s everything for every day. There aren’t really tricks,” said Mary-Kate Olsen during The Row‘s pre-fall 2020 presentation in Paris. She and her sister, Ashley, keep on impressing the industry with their sublime, refined, minimalist, yet soft take on everyday classics. There’s an American tradition behind this: The Row stands on the shoulders of what Donna Karan did for second-wave feminist aspirers to boardrooms in the 1980s, and what Calvin Klein contributed to New York minimalism in the 1990s. Add quality that will last for years and years to come, and here’s The Row that keeps on pushing envelope in terms of the luxurious simplicity. The pre-fall line-up is filled with well-cut peacoats and silk robes, as well as business-ready offering: perfect midi pencil skirt with a matching a shirt in the same fabric or fluid trousers and a double-breasted jacket in the creamiest shade of ecru. Delightful.

All collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Organic. Rosie Assoulin Pre-Fall 2020

For her lovely pre-fall 2020 line-up, Rosie Assoulin looks back at her classics – think statement sleeves, zesty colors and eveningwear that’s never fussy – and not only. The designer’s obsession with all things organic – from food to fabrics – has lent a softer touch to even her fanciest stuff of late. The collection’s “picnic plaid” cotton suits; raw-edged linen dresses; convertible cable knits (they became Instagram’s obsession the moment the images went live); candy-color, 100% vegan sandals; jacquard pieces woven with exotic fruits and their prices-per-pound. She added that this wasn’t hand-picked farmer’s market produce; the flatness of the material was instead a clever nod to our strange new habit of ordering groceries online. Another highlight: a floor-length, drop-waist shirtdress in crisp ivory poplin. To make it look even more sophisticated, the designer added extra volume with darts and tiers around the hips, creating something of a low pannier. Thumbs up for the fantastic look-book photos by Stevie Verroca and Mada Refujio!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.