Legends of the Pre-Fall: Trends and Takeaways from the Season

Pre-Fall 2013 has wrapped!...or has it?...Nobody can quite say for sure, but with the Fall 2013 shows quickly approaching in mid-February, we figured now was as good a time as any to take inventory of our favorites from “the season between seasons."
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Pre-Fall 2013 has wrapped!...or has it?...Nobody can quite say for sure, but with the Fall 2013 shows quickly approaching in mid-February, we figured now was as good a time as any to take inventory of our favorites from “the season between seasons."
From L-R: Givenchy, Celine, Valentino, Calvin Klein, 3.1 Phillip Lim

From L-R: Givenchy, Celine, Valentino, Calvin Klein, 3.1 Phillip Lim

Pre-Fall 2013 has wrapped!...or has it?...Nobody can quite say for sure, but with the Fall 2013 shows quickly approaching in mid-February, we figured now was as good a time as any to take inventory of our favorites from “the season between seasons."

L-R: Celine, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Giles

L-R: Celine, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Giles

Theme: Pilgrim's Pride A puritan vibe swept the collections, making Hester Prim the season's muse. Think super proper styles--with a little tastefully “perverse” twist. Well, swash our buckle and buckle our boot.

L-R: Calvin Klein, Reed Krakoff, Narciso Rodriguez, Thakoon, The Row

L-R: Calvin Klein, Reed Krakoff, Narciso Rodriguez, Thakoon, The Row

Theme: Not-So-Plain Jane Minimalism evolved in a more personal direction, engaging subtle details and emotive color. The serenity was still there, but this time around there were some captivating ripples in this sartorial pond.

L-R: Emilio Pucci, Carven, Stella McCartney, Chloe, Balenciaga

L-R: Emilio Pucci, Carven, Stella McCartney, Chloe, Balenciaga

Theme: Retro Chunnel Paris to London and back, this look--gaining pace within the collections--was all about Franco-Brit vintage and insouciant charm. Celia Birtwell-inspired prints and Ossie Clark-inspired frocks met Rive Gauche-bohemian sensibilities.

L-R: Gucci , Christian Dior, Nina Ricci, Christopher Kane, Michael Kors

L-R: Gucci , Christian Dior, Nina Ricci, Christopher Kane, Michael Kors

Theme: Hitchcock's Women All of Hitchcock's heroines came out to play in ladylike suits and spy-worthy coats--and gloves to match, naturally.

L-R: Calvin Klein, Celine, Gucci, Belstaff, Lanvin

L-R: Calvin Klein, Celine, Gucci, Belstaff, Lanvin

Material: Skin Is In Leather of every type, hue, and texture toughens up even the most feminine of shapes.

L-R: Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Diane von Furstenburg, Valentino, Michael Kors

L-R: Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Diane von Furstenburg, Valentino, Michael Kors

Material: Charlotte's Web Lace injected vintage texture into the season's sheer looks.

L-R: Stella McCartney, J.W. Anderson, Jean Paul Gaultier, No. 21, 3.1 Phillip Lim

L-R: Stella McCartney, J.W. Anderson, Jean Paul Gaultier, No. 21, 3.1 Phillip Lim

Color: Desert Reign Camel's malty warmth proves a natural complement to early Fall pieces.

L-R: Jenni Kayne, Jason Wu, Erdem, Carolina Herrera, Prabal Gurung

L-R: Jenni Kayne, Jason Wu, Erdem, Carolina Herrera, Prabal Gurung

Color: Oz Pantone's official color of the year certainly didn't disappoint; it was everywhere! Shine bright like an emerald!

L-R: Proenza Schouler, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Prabal Gurung, Jonathan Saunders, Carven

L-R: Proenza Schouler, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Prabal Gurung, Jonathan Saunders, Carven

Color: Aquafresh With a nod to '80s obsession with all things Day-Glo, crisp cool blues supplied bold energy and icy edge.

L-R: No. 21, Gucci, Chanel, McQ, D Squared

L-R: No. 21, Gucci, Chanel, McQ, D Squared

Print + Pattern: Mad About You Forget grunge, these plaids told the most refined of stories, ranging from traditional Scottish tartans to vintage ghost-weave structures.

L-R: Erdem, Carolina Herrera, Thom Browne, Valentino, Jenni Kayne

L-R: Erdem, Carolina Herrera, Thom Browne, Valentino, Jenni Kayne

Print + Pattern: Garden Variety Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow…in August? With graphic takes on the entire greenhouse bouquet, apparently.

L-R: Givenchy, Ports 1961, Lanvin, Giambattista Valli, Burberry Prorsum

L-R: Givenchy, Ports 1961, Lanvin, Giambattista Valli, Burberry Prorsum

Print + Pattern: Wild'n Out Welcome to the jungle! Animal motifs (literal and inspired) brought untamed spirit to the season's range of earthy neutrals.

L-R: Christian Dior, Carolina Herrera, Missoni, Thom Browne, Moschino Cheap and Chic

L-R: Christian Dior, Carolina Herrera, Missoni, Thom Browne, Moschino Cheap and Chic

Print + Pattern: A Tale of Two Checks Houndstooth and Prince of Wales patterns gave sportswear a dandy jolt of haberdashery polish.

L-R: Helmut Lang, Missoni, Cushnie et Ochs, Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung

L-R: Helmut Lang, Missoni, Cushnie et Ochs, Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung

Detail: What Lies Beneath Occasion and evening frocks played naughty as a result of strategically placed sheer panels--do you dare to bare?

L-R: Celine, Alexander Wang, Donna Karan, J.W. Anderson, Roland Mouret

L-R: Celine, Alexander Wang, Donna Karan, J.W. Anderson, Roland Mouret

Details: In the Fold Origami fused with draping to render all sorts of twists and turns in the road ahead.

L-R: Bottega Veneta, J.W. Anderson, Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Givenchy

L-R: Bottega Veneta, J.W. Anderson, Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Givenchy

Detail: Riding the Wave Various ruffle constructions--cut in structured fabrics--took interest to the edge.

L-R: Balenciaga, Jonathan Saunders, Carven, Rochas, Roland Mouret

L-R: Balenciaga, Jonathan Saunders, Carven, Rochas, Roland Mouret

Detail: Two-Faced Positive-negative fabric constructions and pattern-making moved color-blocking into the 3rd dimension.

L-R: DKNY, Sea, Thakoon Addition, Givenchy, Stella McCartney

L-R: DKNY, Sea, Thakoon Addition, Givenchy, Stella McCartney

Styling: Head to Toe Matched-set styling continues to make coordinating looks a complete "no-brainer" come September.

L-R: No. 21, Celine, Bottega Veneta, Michael Kors, Valentino

L-R: No. 21, Celine, Bottega Veneta, Michael Kors, Valentino

Styling: Step Lightly It's official: The Pre-Fall collections have decreed that not only can white shoes be worn past labor day, next fall they kinda, sorta must be.

L-R: Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Chanel, Givenchy, Alexander Wang

L-R: Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Chanel, Givenchy, Alexander Wang

Styling: Victor Victoria All manner of skirts, dresses, and tunics crept up over pants creating experimentally "stacked" looks.

L-R: Opening Ceremony, Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, The Row, Rebecca Minkoff

L-R: Opening Ceremony, Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, The Row, Rebecca Minkoff

Proportion: Midi Once deemed dowdy, the midi skirt is back to claim its rightful spot in your wardrobe for Pre-Fall.

L-R: Donna Karan, Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang, See by Chloe, 3.1 Phillip Lim

L-R: Donna Karan, Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang, See by Chloe, 3.1 Phillip Lim

Key Piece: Elevated Sweatshirt The sweat-separates trend continues, with designers finding new and ingenious ways to make us lust over the humblest of garments.

L-R: No. 21, A.L.C., Proenza Schouler, Cushnie et Ochs, Chalayan

L-R: No. 21, A.L.C., Proenza Schouler, Cushnie et Ochs, Chalayan

Key Piece: Half-Circle Mini This flirtatious new take on the mini-length showed up in a ton of presentations. We think it'll totally be a home-run when paired with tights come Fall.

L-R: Derek Lam, Narciso Rodriguez, Thakoon Addition, A.L.C., Givenchy

L-R: Derek Lam, Narciso Rodriguez, Thakoon Addition, A.L.C., Givenchy

Key Piece: Paneled Plain-Front Pant Slim or slightly slack, these pants have graphic impact and versatility that makes them stellar early-Fall investments.

L-R: Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Thom Browne, Christopher Kane, Narciso Rodriguez

L-R: Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Thom Browne, Christopher Kane, Narciso Rodriguez

Key Piece: Fit & Flare Dress Fit'n flare dresses are picking up where shifts left off, offering a tasteful way for ladies (especially First ladies…wink, wink) to dress for day.

L-R: Roland Mouret, Chalayan, Carven, Valentino, Proenza Schouler

L-R: Roland Mouret, Chalayan, Carven, Valentino, Proenza Schouler

Key Piece: Moto-Anew In case you've grown bored with the 10 motorcycle jackets currently hanging in your closet (we actually kinda have), the Pre-Fall collections showcased exciting new variations on the classic Perfecto.

L-R: Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Valentino, Rochas, Barbara Bui

L-R: Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Valentino, Rochas, Barbara Bui

Key Piece: Collectible Cape Capes took center stage, emerging as a voluminously dramatic outerwear option for Pre-Fall. Some offered more living space than many NYC apartments.

L-R: Michael Kors, Giles, Vera Wang, Christopher Kane, Rochas

L-R: Michael Kors, Giles, Vera Wang, Christopher Kane, Rochas

Key Piece: Street Sweeper Skirt Slim or gathered, floor-length skirts made statements in a range of fabrics and colors. Our faves featured pockets and and controlled-volume around the hips

L-R: Viktor & Rolf, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Louis Vuitton

L-R: Viktor & Rolf, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Louis Vuitton

Key Piece: Game Changing Suit Pre-Fall's suits were all about individuality; broken into separates, they made for some of the season's most creative and versatile pieces.

L-R: Moschino, Ter et Bantine, Balenciaga, Cedric Charlier, Acne Studios

L-R: Moschino, Ter et Bantine, Balenciaga, Cedric Charlier, Acne Studios

Key Piece: Beastly Fur A motley crew of thrift store-inspired furs were shown for Pre-Fall, featuring multihued tones in the least precious of textures. Extreme "Jim Henson" colors might be a bit risky for most; try subtly feminine blush tones instead.

L-R: Gucci, Christopher Kane, Balenciaga, Max Mara, Thom Browne

L-R: Gucci, Christopher Kane, Balenciaga, Max Mara, Thom Browne

Key Piece: Slim Coat Lean and mean, Pre-Fall's key coat functions as your wardrobe workhorse, taking you to-and-from the office in style and warmth. Narrow waists add an element of dressmaker-chic to the equation.

L-R: Christian Dior, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Jonathan Saunders, Burberry Prorsum, Valentino

L-R: Christian Dior, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Jonathan Saunders, Burberry Prorsum, Valentino

Key Piece: Essential Trench Transitional outerwear needn't be dull and lifeless, as evidenced by the high-impact options shown for Pre-Fall. Traditional detailing met experimentation in print-placement and chromatic-blocking, yielding exciting results.