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The pre-fall shows are almost unfair , they hint at what our favourite fashion names are going to offer, but make us wait until Fashion Week arrives several weeks later to provide us with a complete and satisfying picture. That said, the pre-fall collections get me through many a dreary January day.

The bright colours at Chloe piqued my interest (especially after the pretty but blah-after-awhile palette that had a stranglehold on the spring 2008 shows), as did the loose but still clean cut of most of the garments.


If pre-fall is any indicator, Proenza Schouler will not be incorporating the same cheerful bits of colour, although there is a gorgeous coppery sequined dress that would find a loving home in my closet.

There is also a preponderance of belts. The beautiful designs of Burberry Prorsum say clearly that the wearers of this collection are rich and look fabulous without trying, and I, for one, am envious.

Balenciaga looks jet-setter glam, as usual, although the sampling seems a bit scattered conceptually. Although on second thought, the collection thus far seems to sample women’s fashions from the 1920s onward (from 1920s “driving costumes, 1950s formal dresses and two rather uninspiring dresses that evoke the 1970s.)


Nina Ricci’s pre-fall was so large at 33 pieces that I wonder what else we’ll see on the runway (though for the record Oscar de la Renta’s was twice as long)? Either way, one of her models is beyond gorgeous though apparently new on the scene as doesn’t list a name for her. Look for raven hair and blue eyes—she walks right before Sky Stracke (who also has a great look).

Overall, the pre-fall shows were fairly balanced. The super-clean tailoring of the past few seasons is slightly relaxed, with a few more voluminous pieces and some interesting detailing. While I wouldn’t say anyone is drowning in colour (M. Williamson has some bright splashes, as do Oscar de la Renta and Tory Burch), the restrained palette of spring 2008 has been overcome with the richer colours of fall.

There are textured fabrics and smooth fabrics. Signs indicate that designers won’t debut cutting-edge trends, but neither are they playing it 100% safe. We’ll just have to be patient to see if the collections are fleshed out with pieces that are outside the moderation zone.

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