The Long and Short of Pre-Fall 2015

- - Fashion Shows

The New York Times recently published Pre-Fall Is Happening. Did You Notice? We must admit, that given all our designers were juggling in December (the holiday season, wrapping up final semester projects, putting the finishing stitches on custom orders, etc.), Pre-Fall collections took a bit of a backseat this season. And the truth is, we may not be alone in our fashion cycle negligence.

Alexander Wang Pre-Fall 2015 and Awards Season Red Carpet Contender?

Alexander Wang Pre-Fall 2015 and awards season red carpet contender?

According to the Times, many consumers have failed to take notice of Pre-Fall offerings, which may be attributed to designers’ decision to keep presentations understated during this busy time of year. Vanessa Friedman offers several reasons why Pre-Fall maintains a lower profile than other collections. She explains, “Pre-spring falls in June, a slow(er) time for most brands than December, when they not only have holiday sales/events/vacation to contend with, but also men’s wear, which shows in January, women’s wear (February), and, perhaps, couture (January).” This grueling cycle is confirmation a designer’s work is never done.

Midi-length leather pant at Mulberry

Midi-length leather pant at Mulberry

But let’s back up – what exactly is the purpose of Pre-Fall collections? Pre-Fall collections are retail market driven and fill in the gap between spring and fall offerings for consumers. Designers offer a smaller collection for Pre-Fall as a way to boost sales in the months before Fall/Winter collections are released. In addition, Pre-Fall collections can be seen a “sneak peeks” into designers’ collections for Fall, which will be shown during Fashion Week in February. Finally, Pre-Fall formal looks often show up on red carpets during awards season which is just around the corner.

A new take on the traditional bow tie at Derek Lam

A new take on the traditional bow tie at Derek Lam

We are half way through Pre-Fall offerings (the season is split – half shows in December, the other half in January),  and some trends have emerged. Though it may not be a proportion that works universally, the midi-length is making a comeback. From Michael Kors to Mulberry, Thakoon to Badgley Mischka, skirts and trousers were cropped between the knee and ankle. Rebecca Minkoff and Joseph Altuzarra offered shades of army green, while brick, cream and black proved to be pervasive in a number of other collections. Inventive iterations of the bow tie collar popped up, giving us cause to not only take notice, but also to anticipate full runway collections come February.


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Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.