Pre-fall has found itself in a weird state of mind, especially in the UK where Summers are fairly non-existent and Fall is, least to me, an all-year-round topic.
According to Google and various online almanacs, it appears that Fall is already with us and has been since a week ago. Which could only mean that it is the changing of the seasons, and, along with that, I have twice dressed out of order with the weather and uncomfortable indoor sweating is in.
With two points to note:
-London hits 10 degrees Celsius at 6am touchdowns
-Yet Paris is still balmy as Parisians like to linger their Summertime Sadness in tank tops along with the finale of the Spring-Summer Ready-To-Wear shows.
Christine likes to walk fast. She tells me that she sprints ahead of her friends because the faster she walks, the more time she has to do other things. It's not exactly a subject I am foreign to, considering that I have had my fair share of breaking shins to keep up with the fashion 'circus' schedule, caught a Eurostar train 30-minutes before departure, and suitcase packing of which have recently taken much longer than expected with some mild form of anxiety and stress. (Still, I only deter people away from the latter two).
We do, too often, push ourselves to race with time.
And Pre-Fall comes just in time to fill our appetite between the seasons.
Where you will find suede and satin combined into one dress, coats that also appear as dresses, and patterned suits paired with turtleneck sweaters (sleeveless, of course).
It's a time where rules can be broken, unusual textures are combined and new styles are tested, without losing the brand images where the main season lines have pushed them to be recognised thereof.
Indeed, fashion is in a weird state of mind and time. Dior experienced a rare period of time where there was no creative director, since Raf Simons' departure, for two haute couture seasons (January during the SS16 calendar and July during the FW16 calendar), one ready-to-wear season (March during the FW16 calendar) and the cruise show (May 2016). So easy, it could be, to say that the brand has put itself on a risk to go through a period of identification crisis.
Many fashion houses are undergoing a transitional period with appointing new creative directors, a trend that has already revolutionised several brands, overturning their annual slump in sales with double-digit increases, thanks to the "see now, buy now" strategy (more on this later)
and influential rebranding. Something that has innately altered our natural senses of immediacy and has created more interesting dialogues.
Identification crisis, of course, could not happen with a powerful team of staff behind the closed doors of the atelier.
The collection focuses on formalwear, with a stress on practicality. It seems apparent in the way the collection is presented - most looks are in separates, fall below the knee-cap and with utmost allure: the Diorama club bags appears in 'Malachite Green' and the Diorever in Indian Red. Shoes are kept at a low kitten heel, like black slingbacks with a black velvet bows and low boots in black crackled patent calfskin.
Though Dior's Pre-Fall 2016 collection marks the last of the transitional collections of the changing of the seasons.
We're back to work for September and Maria Grazia Chiuri (previously of Valentino) has since July 2016 taken over as the new creative director of Dior. And as the first female creative director to lead the brand, my eyes are peeled for what's to happen at the Spring-Summer PRINTEMPS-ÉTÉ 2017 Show tomorrow.
And that is all.
Photography // JOCELYN YIH
MAKE-UP ARTIST // CLAUDIA CHENG @ BEAUTIA
MODEL // Christine Ra
WARDROBE // DIOR PRE-FALL 2016