Wednesday, December 16, 2009


F'row Word of the Week

Pre-fall. (pre-forle) n. No, not pride before a fall, although that indeed was a risk for designers who hadn’t quite hit their creative stride when they offered journos an early look at their moods for A/W‘10 this month.

Keep up now, ladies. If you thought the fashion calendar could be divided neatly into two - spring/summer and autumn/winter - you thought wrong. These days, fashion fans can look forward to showings at least six times a year, and that’s just taking Paris, London, Milan and New York into account.

Each late February/early March and late September/early October, the Ready-to-Wear circus hits the big four. This has long been balanced by the Couture in Paris: Spring in January and Autumn in July (go figure). Once upon a time the latter was all there was; fashion equalled Paris couture and that was that. But recently new rounds of shows have been added at such a dizzying rate that the editors can barely keep up, let alone us civilians.

The Resort collections – A.K.A. Cruise – happen all over the place each May (Chanel commandeered the Venice Lido this year) and give the big names a chance to flog swimwear and kaftans to their clients who winter in the Caribbean or are married to Greek shipping magnates.

Pre-fall is the latest fashion event to be invented by buyers bored of summer sale stock and media-hungry brands eager for greater exposure. What started as literally a sneak peek at the season to come via an early drop for department stores, perhaps with one model posing in the designer’s HQ, has morphed into a full-blown mini season complete with runways and blowing out budgets. What’s next? Apres-couture? Pre-pre-spring? My brain hurts.

In conversation. Hints and tips for daily use:
“Alexander Wang was way off for Pre-Fall this year. All those layers were just so serious. He should stick to the body con dresses.”

Your friend at US Vogue asks: “Are you coming to New York for the Pre-Fall? Some of the guys are doing some interesting shows this time.”
You reply: “I wish! They never fly us anywhere if they can help it. Can you believe they made me write the Couture report from”

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