The best of Pre-Fall 2019: Valentino, Versace, and Chanel
This season, Valentino presented its first-ever co-ed show (and the first Pre-Fall show since the '80s) in Tokyo, and used Japan as the source of inspiration. Creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli combined three Japanese concepts—ma (negative space), wabi-sabi (the art of imperfection), and kintsugi (the art of repairing broken ceramics)—with the fashion house's signature dramatic flair, and reinterpreted them in a modern way. Result? A romantic and refined collection filled with ruffles, lace and grace that floated beautifully down the runway, starting and ending with head-turning red tulle gowns. The wabi-sabi concept that centered around imperfection, in particular, can be found in the form of overdyed floral prints (in black and red hues) and asymmetrical silhouettes. In an interview with WWD, the designer revealed his desire for the collection to be more everyday-appropriate, and if Valentino's idea of daytime couture looked this good, we're all for it.
Watch the Valentino Pre-Fall 2019 show below:
For its first runway show in the U.S, Donatella Versace said she "wanted to pay homage to this incredible city, bringing the sartorial heritage of Milan and fusing it with the energy of New York and its eclectic nature", and the Pre-Fall'19 collection was exactly that. Held at the New York Stock Exchange, the venue featured a replica of the Lady Liberty torch right smack in the centre, and elements of the Big Apple can be seen throughout. There were T-shirts printed with 'I Love New York' slogans against the Medusa logo, and stars and stripes were added into its signature baroque motifs, seen on an array of separates. But the most iconic of them all, was the Medusa Safety Pin that was first introduced by Gianni Versace during Spring 1994. Aside from adorning the models' lobes in the form of earrings, the famous dress that was worn by Elizabeth Hurley at the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral also made a reappearance on Italian model Vittoria Ceretti. That's not it. Remember that naval low-cut dress Jennifer Lopez wore to the Grammy Awards in 2000? The piece was also brought back for the show, and to make the moment extra special, Amber Valetta—who wore the dress on the Spring'00 runway—once again wore this reimagined version, which was in a 'Love Versace' heart-print inspired by Jim Dine's designs.
Watch the Versace Pre-Fall 2019 show below:
Chanel also showcased in New York this season, but instead of a collection inspired by the city that never sleeps, the brand turned to Ancient Egypt, with a Métiers d'Art show held in the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Karl Lagerfeld said, "Egyptian civilisation has always fascinated me: I get inspired by an idea, which I make a reality", and a reality it was. The designer revealed he never thought it was possible to show in the Met, but the brand made it possible in the end. The collection was a refined mash-up of the fashion house's savoir faire with the culture of ancient Egypt, and the colour palette was made up of mostly gold, white and black hues. The show opened with a series of streamlined robe-like looks, which were worn under tweed separates and complete with statement fringed necklaces that draped beautifully over the décolletage, before moving on to denim and prints from the Memphis Group. Some of the noteworthy details include beetle embroideries by Montex; handcrafted jewellery, buttons and buckles by Goossens; headwear by Maison Michel; boots by Massaro; intricate ornaments by the House of Lessage; and feathers by Maison Lemarie.
Watch the Chanel Métiers d'Art collection below: