Ahead of the Game: Pre Collections | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Ahead of the Game: Pre Collections

The speed of the fashion calendar  has always kept us all on our toes

The speed of the fashion calendar  has always kept us all on our toes. Though our Summer 2012 wardrobes are still taking shape, the first glimpse of Spring/Summer 2013 is already here with the recent pre collections.

With the original purpose of serving those lucky ladies who wintered abroad and needed a flash of summer into their wardrobes, hence their alternate title Resort or Cruise,  the pre collections are now a key fashion event for brands and shoppers alike. Their distinctive wearability compared to most headline collections make them more commercial and usually more profitable for the brand; even smaller London-based labels such as J.W.Anderson have begun showing pre collections.

The pre Spring/Summer collections tend to cater to a slightly chillier wardrobe than the main Summer shows, and due to the schedule on which they arrive in stores, will brighten up the customer's autumn looks, even if she's not gallivanting off to Saint Tropez for a Christmas break. Erdem's collection, for example, featured fine knit jumpers worn over shirts, long-sleeved silk dresses and tweed coats, all of course with the distinctive floral prints for which the brand is celebrated. Though not dissimilar to what we'd expect during Fashion Week, Erdem's display is much stronger than its previous pre collection and the brand is continuing to widen its scope with tailored trouser suits and sharper cuts.


Knits were also seen at Burberry Prorsum, whose collection focused more on work wear and was certainly more understand than its main show. This knitwear, seen in the muted palette of the collection, was thicker than Erdem’s and featured large cowl neck jumpers which were paired with slim tapered trousers or shorts, including a unisex pair, to bring the pieces out of the depths of winter. Stella McCartney’s knitted jumpers came in pastel colours, reflecting this summer’s love for the pretty shades, and were worn with white wider fit trousers or a rich orange floral print pencil skirt; a print that also appeared on dresses and three-piece skirt suits. The 2012 kit’s designer looked to the 1920s for her evening wear where subtle fringing appeared over delicate lace dresses in black, white and yellow.

Burberry Prorsum

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

A number of designers seemed to be influenced by the '70s, with Céline, Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen all offering their take on the flared trouser: McQueen kept the style futuristic in a silver shade, Louis Vuitton's were extreme and flowing or accentuated by sky-high heels and Céline's came in a range of printed or bold styles.

Louis Vuitton

The rest of the Alexander McQueen collection stayed very true to its aesthetic, whilst showing a more wearable side to the label, not always a word associated with McQueen. The sharp monochromatic tailoring contrasted with the more delicate evening section which featured an exquisitely draped orange strapless gown, and black and gold dresses varying from sleek column styles to ruffled layers. The company's CEO announced this week his desire for McQueen to become Britain's best luxury ready-to-wear brand. If Sarah Burton carries on in this direction, that's a definite possibility.

Alexander McQueen

Trend Alert: Though not as trend-driven as the main collections, we've spotted a few emerging patterns...

- Flared Trousers: Despite a few signs that the 20s trend is still going strong, perhaps we'll turn to the hippiest decade next summer: the 1970s.

- Print Clash: Its strong presence at Peter Pilotto suggests that this 'love it or hate it' trend may be staying put.

- Classic Shirt: Whether it be crisp white or adorned with flowers, many designers were working around this wardrobe staple.

- Summer Knits

Written by Megan Jones

See a review of Chanel's pre-collection here and Hervé Léger by Max Azria's here.


26th June 2012 at 8:03 pm