THE TOP FIVE PRE-FALL 2014 COLLECTIONS
by Jeremy Danté
the editorial content of my site has vastly evolved over the course of this year. through all facets of evolution, runway is within the DNA of this space. runway built this space, gave it a voice and provided celebrity co-signs along the way. in breaking away from my steel infrastructure of runway reviews, i’ve made the conscious decision to re-configure the landscape of my content to delve into a deeper dialogue, to elevate the levels in which we view style. for the pre-fall season, i speak even more to the style patterns that i’ve outlined in my suit vs. sport piece. in keeping a tight five collections, i allowed for opinion to be backed by fact. the view of high fashion has forever been changed by the internet, and these five collections represent my own take on style, my own taste level while also revealing a burning trend which i have outlined and discussed for the past year. in the process of style transformation, we americans, are re-interpreting how style is defined. in the cut of a melting pot, culturally, these five collections represent a deeper look at who we are as people. as working individuals, as self aware persons who are striving for success that goes far beyond the surface.
ALEXANDER WANG seemingly at the forefront of american fashion, the alexander wang label has long represented the intersection of high fashion and street style. this lane is one that is explored by many of the designers that have been selected this pre-season. simultaneously through his work at balenciaga, wang’s own vision has become more greatly pronounced in ways that silence both critics and competition. strict with a quaint 17 looks, the collection blends office attire with almost an academic feel. pops of neon are seen throughout, and mindful design injections of accessories, important for modern day labels, are were thoughtfully produced. footwear seemed to make a statement in this collection, the knee-high, almost remixed cowboy boot on each model was both an interesting choice and fucked up the style flow in the right ways. what i’ve long loved of alexander wang collections is his use of expectation, and how to move past that. there was a bit of a wall street, business commuter feel to this collection, which i liked a lot. i love the trade off of masculine aesthetics, and the ways that designers feminize these ideas to re-introudce the ways that we see ordinary, or otherwise mundane concepts of style. there is function in the clothes, there is style, and there is also room for inspiration. inspiration for others to recreate these looks with their existing wardrobe, with visits to a tailor. the mix of high and low, masc and fem, suit and sport, function and luxury- it’s all here. alexander wang is a visionary of design that understands commercial appeal with an idie ‘fuck your corporation’ type of cool. it will be interesting to see how these concepts play or runs into what wang will produce for show season. while not too strong a collection, a voice is felt- an expression understood.
GUCCI the only non-american fashion label included in this pre-season count of collections, gucci is returning to simplicity. there is a retro-vintage, almost disco-seventies vibe to the collections that have been produced by the italian super house for the past several seasons. timeless as ever, this collections shows strength in the use of leathers, and the use of bold color shouts with exclamation at the otherwise expected low-key tones that are normally associated with fall. leather clutches in a range of color, as well as a re-introduction of gucci’s old school drawstring shoulder strap bag are seen in the collection. accessories are the strength of gucci, as well as the strength of the label’s creative director, frida giannini. the collection almost seems like a hit for every other big label on the scene. the bold use of color is very burberry prorsum. the use of clean lines and slouchy silhouettes is a throw to céline, and the use of print in the collection and maximal style approach is a toss to gucci’s past creative directing king, in his modern fashion pursuits, tom ford. all smart conceptual decisions, the gucci signature of horse bit loafers, and accessories are thrown in to allow the collection to remain identified as gucci by it’s clientele. clean, commercial, and faultless in their borrowing of other label aesthetics- i like this collection. a strong set of design that is both mindful and aware of competition. the collection feels mod, it feels london inspired and the leather paperboy caps bring about a classic appeal that is both striking and undeniable. inspired by others, but still gucci.
REED KRAKOFF a label so inspiringly distinct, reed krakoff is a genius of style that represents the modern day women of america in all the right ways. with his creative directing stint at coach now behind him, krakoff has long proved that he has both the vision and design know-how to re-introduce classics to the american consumer and have them fall over as though they’ve never seen anything like it before. that instinct is skill that cannot be taught, it’s something you’re born with. one of my all-time favorite american labels of modern day fruition, reed is a G in the fashion game. this collection, and his past collections rival céline, from an american view point. modest while young all the same, the collection shows strength in outwear, and use of horse hair is seen throughout. the damage of expected silhouettes signifies a liberated approach to female style. another label in new york, the handbags designed by krakoff follow in the same lane of his clothing collections. it’s the idea that everything classic can be rediscovered. super fresh use of leather is ever present in a krakoff collection, so that expectation was fufilled. the color palette is always interesting to me, and though this collection was an expected set of fall tones, i felt it to be very handsome. the collection coats have that familiar feel of masculinity. like it’s her husband’s coat, casually draped on her shoulders. it’s all so chic, so classic & effortless, which is the only way that fashion should be portrayed.
RAG & BONE taking queues from 90’s images of english council estate kids, the rag & bone label understands how to re-interpret inspiration in an essentially cool way. an untouchable cool that can be nothing else but respected, a marriage of the street and mass commercial appeal is what we see when looking at their collections. this season was no different. a prime example of suit and sport, there was a gymnasium, athleticism feel in this collection that i loved. again in the lane of effortlessness, there is an appeal that you can throw any of the pieces in the collection on for instant transformation. kept clean in a cool black and white palette, the collection is straight to the point. though a pre-fall set, the collection holds versatility from season to season and remains true to what cool NYC girls are wearing, or need to be wearing. key evidence and proof of what i’ve been saying about the merge of suit and sport; i loved the use of luxe and lazy in this collection. the use of mesh and combination of lace was also super inspiring to me. though athletic, the collection still captures a feminine energy that is uniquely represented in new york, as a major fashion capital. a strong collection filled with simplistic design elements, this collection harps on my own sense of minimalism. from concept, to collection images, and even model casting- this is a full encompassment of style, as it relates to our modern times. well rounded design processed through an interesting scope of inspiration.
THAKOON another representer of new america, thakoon takes sport and often mixes floral frocks to produce collections that resonate with, yet again, modern women. that is the common thread with all these collections. while each is ranked, every single collection in this pre-season count is equally as valuable to the ways that we are represented as americans, in style. this collection is the only that presents a more feminine feel that is expected. while that expectation was somewhat morphed, through cut and silhouette- it’s new found tradition is also inspiring. thakoon always represents new york, as well as function is in the vein of what the future holds. a juggled set of florals, pin-stripes and loosely fitted coats, the collection is a good cap off of my pre-fall selection because it’s independent in execution. there is a dope approach that thakoon takes. skating expectations, no two collections look alike, im my eyes. proportion was altered in ways that were otherwise unexpected; pieces went without out symmetry, which fucked up expectation even further. in a dope way though. it fucked with your perception, in a way that opens you up to possibility, and an altered view of how things should look. thakoon represents a fearlessness that can be associated with an american approach to freedom. that freedom being expressed through great design, he’s not afraid to be off the cuff, quite literally, as a translator of style. while im not huge on floral print, or print in general, there was a fresh spring feel to his pre-fall collection, which i appreciate. super ill outwear and dope chopped concepts; great re-interpretation of feminine charm.
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