Just before COVID-19 upended the fashion industry in unprecedented ways, most designers were able to finish producing their Pre-Fall 2020 collections, which launched in stores and on e-comm sites this summer. This season, however, the pandemic has some brands questioning the validity of pre-collections, with heavyweights like Gucci and Michael Kors announcing plans to do away with them completely.
In the meantime, others are continuing to use Pre-Fall (a big money-driver on the sales floor) as a way to translate their conceptual ready-to-wear looks from the runway into more wearable iterations. Some, like Alexander McQueen and Marni, are aligning the release of lookbooks and images closer to when these collections are available to shop, a practice that seems to grow more popular each year.
This month is a rather chaotic time in fashion, with designers scheduled to show men's, resort/cruise and couture creations in a variety of formats in July alone. To cut through the noise and highlight what's actually available now, we've rounded up some of the best collections of the Pre-Fall 2020 season, from Proenza Schouler's fabulous asymmetrical draped dresses to the new Givenchy bag everyone will be coveting this summer.
The Collection: Asymmetrical, elongated silhouettes are a Proenza signature, not to mention cinched waists and elegantly draped knits. Designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez continued the sensual approach here, too, while having fun with proportions (shoulders) and giving outerwear and tailoring a softer, fluid ease.
The It-Accessory: Squared-toed shoes are still having a moment, but Proenza's High-Heeled Ankle-Strap Sandals, particularly the color-blocked versions, are poised for ubiquity this season thanks to their fluted heel and contrasting padded sole.
Available now at ProenzaSchouler.com
The Collection: While many of us wait to see what Matthew Williams has in store for Givenchy in October, the current crop of clothes in stores reflect former Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller's tough-meet-romantic approach to dressing. From slick biker jackets to long pleated skirts, these pieces form the foundation of any wardrobe with a strong attention to detail and longevity.
The It-Accessory: Givenchy's popular Antigona bag has a new look this season in honor of its 10th anniversary. Unlike its structured and rigid sibling, the Antigona Soft, as it's called, is noticeably softer and more fluid, making for a slouchy alternative to the best-selling style.
Available now at Givenchy.com
The Collection: From sharp, severe lines to couture-like embellishments, Designer Sarah Burton continues to explore the tension between romance and architecture. Touches of hardware and utility tie everything together, while the sleek suits remain among the most precise out there. The men's selection, meanwhile, consists of just five looks this season while emphasizing McQueen's strong ties to tailoring.
The It-Accessory: McQueen's Story Shoulder is one of the brand's newer styles to emerge this season and is a successor to the popular Story bag. This version comes with a slightly larger metal handle, a series of leather knots along the front and a new shoulder chain strap.
Available now at AlexanderMcQueen.com
The Collection: Marni's quirky styling and off-kilter approach to luxury makes it a recurring favorite each season, and Pre-Fall is no exception. Everything from prints to textures seem to clash in an exaggerated manner, and pops of gold and silver metallics were a delightfully unexpected touch. (Who else could make wearing raincoats over pajamas look so cool?)
The It-Accessory: This season is all about the Marni shopping bag: it's lightweight, structured and rendered in a blue coated PVC with the brand's logo printed in front. The leather handles and saturated color make a playful yet elevated alternative to the casual tote.
Available now at Marni.com
The Collection: The blown-up Intrecciato weave patterns are front and center this season, particularly in the candy-colored outerwear. While shoes and bags are enjoying a renaissance under Creative Director Daniel Lee, the clothes are also finding new life from slinky knits to rigid denim and sharp suiting.
The It-Accessory: Too many to chose from, but the range of handbags in the new 'Kraft' material (a corrugated cardboard with a paper-effect finish) is by far the most intriguing. Available in styles like the Shoulder Pouch and the BV Twist, the waterproof bags are made from 100% recycled and FSC certified paper.
Available now at BottegaVeneta.com
Photos courtesy of brands