You call it spring. We call it pre-fall. You know quite well which tribe you’re a member of, based on what season you think it is right now in the Northern Hemisphere.
Fashionistas live at least three months ahead of the rest of the world. So while some folk are shopping for shorts, swimsuits, and sandals, the fashion tribe is on the hunt for fabulous coats, boots, and lightweight sweaters. Stylish people everywhere have their heads in pre-fall 2017.
It’s one of our favorite seasons here at Dandelion Chandelier, because it’s a really good time to find wearable clothes with real longevity, be it basics, classics, or gorgeous investment pieces. If global temperatures continue to rise, in a few years most of us on the planet will be living in the tropics. And when that time comes, the hallmarks of pre-fall will be exactly how we’ll need to dress: in layers of lightweight cashmere and leather, in autumn colors but with summer-weight fabrics; in basic, well-fitting black and white; and in slightly less embellished and more minimal attire (despite what’s going on at Gucci, maximalism seems better suited to cold temperatures).
So if you’re up for a shopping spree, what will you find on offer right now? Here are some trends we’re seeing in pre-fall 2017:
Pink and black is still a thing. If you invested in this trend early, you’re in luck. It has legs (probably because almost everyone looks good in it). Bottega has bright pink, blush and muted desert rose apparel and handbags. You’ll find various shades of pink at Givenchy, Roland Mouret and J. Mendel. For some designers, the palette is expanding from pink to other pastels – Valentino’s pre-fall collection paired pale blue, lavender and “nude” with black. Erdem Moralioglu’s did, too, plus yellow and pale green. For others, like Dior, the black has evolved into cement or steel gray, a nice palette cleanser for the new season.
Florals and botanicals are not just for spring. Dark florals abound on pre-fall apparel, from Givenchy to Erdem to Valentino. Joseph Altuzarra’s lead look for pre-fall is a botanical print on a black background. Perhaps more surprising? The look is everywhere on boots: McQueen is showing floral combat boots, ditto Gucci, and many designers showed floral boots of all kinds to complement their ready-to-wear looks.
Spice colors are hot. Barolo, ocher, terracotta, saffron, rust and mustard –the names signify the idea that pre-fall means traditionally autumnal colors rendered in wear-now lightweight fabrics and warm-weather silhouettes. You’ll find them in many places, including at FENDI, Bottega, Valentino, Chanel, and Chloe. These looks will easily take you from today through the end of October.
There’s blue on the horizon. Bottega is featuring a gorgeous slate blue that signals colder weather and plays extremely well with charcoal grey. In its Métiers d’Art collection, Chanel showed mysterious and mesmerizing midnight blue dresses and coats.
Animal spirits are high. I learned long ago, when I worked in the fashion business, that you can never, ever go wrong with a leopard print. Ever. On a shoe, a bag, a skirt, a blouse, even a trench coat. The look will literally never go out of style. Proof points for pre-fall? Have a look at Dior, J. Mendel, Tom Ford, Louboutin, Prada, Dolce (of course) and Carolina Herrera. In related animal print news, for pre-fall Gucci’s Alessandro Michele has added a new animal to his menagerie: a feisty cat scowls angrily from sweaters, coats and bags. And Erdem introduces a tropical “Kasia bird” print.
Leather is your pre-fall BFF. Bottega has a plethora of soft and supple colored-leather jackets, skirts and dresses. Chanel and Valentino have them, too. If you need to dress for work in a way that’s polished, but you still want to exhibit some edge and personality, a leather item like one of these will get the job done.
Maximalists are still in luck. It may not seem possible, but Gucci is adding even more to the “more is more” look. Dark florals, bright metallics, eye-popping solid colors, lace, fur, bows – and that’s all on one item. There’s a flood of looks in this delivery, and at first glance it’s frankly overwhelming. However, if you slow down, look closely, and buy this line smartly – in pieces – you’ll come away really happy. We have our eyes on a grass-green coat with a ruffled collar; a couple of adorably chic black day dresses; and perhaps a new bag. BTW, fans of over-sized handbags, take note: the latest ones from the house are Yuge. Just remember a cardinal rule here IRL: a little Gucci goes a long way. We do not suggest trying to rock The Full Gucci unless you are very tall and very thin. And desire a great deal of attention.
Great basics abound. This is the perfect time to stock up on pencil skirts, crisp white shirts, black pants, and trench coats. Many of the workday wardrobe staples that we consider our essential go-to pieces are things we bought from pre-fall deliveries. Chanel’s ivory power suits and jackets will never fail you. Dolce & Gabbana is a perfect place for well-tailored classic black and white basics. Dior has great LBDs and hound’s-tooth pieces this season.
Stunning coats. If you want a really special coat, this is your season. Check out Dior, Gucci, Valentino, FENDI, Chanel, and Altuzarra.
Soft, cuddly shoes. In footwear, pre-fall is a lot about florals: on heels, on combat boots, on over-the-knee boots – basically everywhere. The crushed velvet trend for shoes and boots continues strongly, this season showing up in softer colors like pink and olive green. You’ll find sneakers embellished with fur at Valentino, and fur-lined mules still reign supreme at Gucci.
If you buy only one pair of boots pre-fall, make them LV. Over-the-knee boots are everywhere (Dior, Valentino, YSL, Roger Vivier, Balenciaga), in leather and suede, most with kitten or flat heels. The show-stoppers this season? Vogue raves about the thigh-high patent leather boots offered for pre-fall by LV’s Nicolas Ghesquière: they come in black, white and traffic-stopping LV orange, and have heels in the shape of flowers. Reminiscent of the late 60s and early 70s, they’re to be worn on days when you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it. For the slightly more subdued among us, there’s an ankle-boot version as well (I would totally wear these in orange, with grey, white or black apparel).
Other fun facts? Chanel, Givenchy and Alexander McQueen are launching new handbags for pre-fall. Chloe and Loewe are showing excellent new colors for their existing handbag silhouettes. Prada’s pre-fall bags are bright and fun (and FENDI-esque). Meanwhile, FENDI is on fire with accessories – I got a sneak peek at their next handbag delivery, and there are some stunning items on the way.
So in the next few weeks, if the mood suits you (or it starts to rain), take a break from the great outdoors and check out what’s happening in fashion. When you’re ready to buy, you’ll need to edit and focus, as there’s no over-riding story or silhouette to guide you. The happy news is that therefore, you can make pre-fall totally your own. Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior pre-fall statement T-shirt reads: “The future is in your hands.” You should go grab it.