The in-between season of Pre-Fall allows designer labels the chance to explore. While some took the opportunity to make a political statement, others used their designs to illustrate their creative vision.
Here’s a look at five notable Pre-Fall 2017 menswear collections that made a statement.
The place: an ancient palazzo. The time: an indeterminate future. The collection: a well-curated clash between dystopia and hope, as presented by famed Moschino designer Jeremy Scott.
For Pre-Fall, the label drew inspiration from military uniforms. Olive cotton drill and parachute silk are issued as jumpsuits, together with elongated MA1s, field jackets and camouflaged combat separates.
There are elements of hard and soft at play too. Consider the Moschino-classic black leather biker pieces. These now come fashioned with gold panels on the back of the floral jacquard material.
“We have to fight – for rights, for beauty, for everything we believe in because it’s being ripped away from us. And trying to find any bits of beauty that you can and almost making emblems and totems of them,” said Scott.
Classic with an edge
Riccardo Tisci departed Givenchy in February this year, making this one of his last collections for the brand.
During his twelve-year tenure as creative director, he brought a dark edge to the label. His menswear was also celebrated for its fashion-forward approach to tailoring.
The Givenchy Pre-Fall 2017 signalled a more casual spirit. Yet it still revolved around three observable qualities of the label: urban, stylish and iconic.
A black colour palette was the focus of the season. More than that, the designs highlighted a sporty feel, in addition to offerings of leather jackets and knitwear adorned with studs or grommets.
Focusing on separates, Givenchy’s man is seen to embrace a decidedly relaxed silhouette. This fresh perspective falls in line with the Parisian fashion house’s new denim collection.
There is something strangely beautiful about the Gucci Pre-Fall designs. From patterns and colours that shouldn’t work together to unconventional cuts and proportions, each piece speaks of a free-form expression.
The look book was shot in Rome in two locations: the Antica Libreria Cascianelli, an old bookstore specialising in art history, and the Antica Spezieria Di Santa Maria Della Scala, a 16th-century apothecary that reportedly catered to popes.
Both of these places proved perfect as backdrops to the label’s aesthetic and its unconventional dialogue between past, present and future. They also work in drawing the parallels between a creative vision and its accompanying story. As explained by creative director Alessandro Michele, “My obsessions are like my religion, there’s something inside the way I express the idea of the brand, an obsession with beauty.”
Coach’s Pre-Fall designs denote American optimism. The message? A timely reminder for everyone to embrace individuality and welcome outsiders – regardless of race, gender or personal style.
The collection is apparently a visual narrative of a Los Angeles kid arriving in New York, whereby it brought together the idiosyncratic attitude of the West coast and the mixed-up eclecticism of the city.
To further underscore the point of how a beautiful mash up of opposites can be possible, Coach presented both the women’s and men’s Pre-Fall collections on the runway at the same time.
“Uniting the collections got us thinking about togetherness and optimism,” creative director Stuart Vevers said. “That inspired the clothes, the set, the casting. It’s diverse; it reflects real life.”
The polished rebel
It was one of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s first solo showings for Valentino (his co-creative director of over a decade Maria Grazia Chiuri left in July last year), and he chose to focus on a “punk” theme for the season.
The collection had a collegiate feel to it though. This was evident in the pairing of sweaters worn over shirts with slim black bow ties, as well as shrunken suit jackets and duffel coats.
“I loved punk as a state of mind – anarchy of the mind,” Piccioli pointed out. “Men have definitely changed more than women in the last two decades. I started this collection by going back to the idea of the gentleman.
“To me, today it means to be a gentle man. Gentleness is an expression of freedom. Expressing your fragility is the new strength. After all, in order to break the rules you have to first know the rules.”