We know that Pre Collections, Cruise, Resort, Pre-Spring/Fall, call them what you will, are big business for design houses. One – there’s a need for newness by those who can afford to buy, two – they stay on the rails longer and three – they sell more ergo make more money for the designers. We’ve seen in recent seasons a flurry of high profile pre collections shows by big houses (Louis Vuitton, Chanel, DIor) in far flung, high profile, high spend destinations from Beijing to Miami and the South of France.
The British Fashion Council are making Pre-Collections ‘a further thing’ by adding them to the ever packed roster of shows. It’s no bad thing. On the contrary, fashion has to make money. This is the fashion business, emphasis on the latter. This new spate of shows or salon happenings (rather) will be taking place immediately following London Collections Men which ends 15th June.
With this in mind, Maxmara discreetly sent out a flurry of impeccably dressed and more hip-than-usually styled models at a show today in their re-furbished flagship store in Bond St. Named ‘Fashion is Indestructible’ the collection paid homage to London’s spirit and style and was inspired by Cecil Beaton’s photography. Especially during wartime when the London’s gals’ Blitz spirit came to the fore – still beautifully turned out in the midst of bombs and rubble. Blitz spirit was also apparent amongst London’s youth culture in the early ‘80s when those brave enough, different enough and innovative enough, worked a street-style the like has never been seen before. This collection strode a toe-in-the-water re the latter two but was steeped in Maxmara’s discreet luxury but styled exactly on point with aviator type hats, fluffy gloves, rope belts, striped faux fur scarves and the odd corsage for femininity.
Maxmara woman (and I have the inclination to grow into one) takes her cool strides in wide pants, beautiful, wrap trench coats and silk shirts. She’s the epitome of understated elegance but just sometimes, the girl wants to be a little bit daring.
Maxmara’s Pre-Collection for SS’16 showed that the house still has its roots in its traditional customer but gave her nods to Celine type influences – she’s moving forwards. Huge ‘’ emblem sweaters looked cool paired with wrap skirts and footless tights. (The latter I had an inclination re returning – this is a good thing). Saying that, there was plenty of cool taupe tones, to-die-for coats and huge floral prints that will ease cash out of expensively monogrammed wallets.
It was the clash of fabrics and textures that Maxmara surprisingly toyed with, all with a London dandy meets pinstripe gent slant. Chalk stripe jackets over floral trousers and with a panne velvet jacket strewn over the top. Wide boxer style high waisted and cinched trousers or leather skirts worn over trousers and paired with vests. Again, break the styling down and you have a selection of key Maxmara pieces to please the customer. And isn’t that what Pre-Collections are all about? Satisfying demand, making a profit and allowing the in-house design teams to play a little with ideas for new season? I’m in.