At times, the fashion timetable can seem very confused and muddled. Traditionally, the Autumn/Winter shows are presented between February/March and arrive in stores in July/August. The Spring/Summer offerings are presented in September and land in stores around February/March. Make sense? No? To make it even more confusing, we now have two more seasons to play with; Pre-Fall, which is presented in December/January, and arrives in stores in May, and Cruise/Resort, which is shown in May/June and arrives in November. Not only do clothes arrive during the wrong season, but by the time they do, the customer has by this point seen it on the runway 6 months ago as well as witnessed it being duplicated and reproduced by every high street retailer.
There is no doubt that the internet has revolutionised every aspect of our daily lives, but a side effect of the instantaneity of the internet is that is we now have minimal patience. Customers don't want to wait 6 months for clothing they have seen online, which is why Pre-Fall and Cruise collections have become so successful. Traditionally more subtly introduced than the mainline collections, they have nevertheless proven to be hugely successful with shoppers. Buyers nowadays are spending up to 70% of their budgets on Pre Collections, which may seem nonsensical when it's the mainline shows that get all the press and social media attention. But actually, when you think about it, it makes total sense. From a sales point of view, the main line collections sit around in store for a long time, which means that customers are likely to get bored of them. The pre-collections arrive to invigorate the shop floor, offering customers something new, while allowing the brand to sell at full price while the main line collection goes on sale. It is therefore, a win/win situation for both the shopper and retailer.
In the past Jonathan Saunders has stated that these pre-collections are more 'wardrobe suggestions' rather than 'silhouette suggestions'. This means that he uses his main shows to communicate the message he wants through his collection, and incorporates the colours and shapes he feels are relevant to the modern women. He thus uses his pre-collections to make clothing that fits more easily into his customers wardrobes.
As fashion consumers, we are no longer bound to seasonal weather, we travel more and our climate is changing, which is why sometimes the collections can appear muddled up. Fur coats being presented during the Spring/Summer shows, and crop tops cropping up during Autumn/Winter may seem strange, which is why the pre-collections are often a blend of both - offering 'trans-seasonal' clothing that makes much more sense for the modern wardrobe. Clothes that you can wear throughout different seasons are ultimately the best investment, and definitely something to think about when shopping. Ultimately, the fashion timetable does need a bit of shake up to reflect the changing way in which people buy clothes, and thats something we will be exploring in the next post!
Our favourite looks from the latest Pre collections, Resort 2016:
Look One: Carven , Look Two: Christopher Kane , Look Three: Louis Vuitton , Look Four: Carven , Look Five: Topshop Unique , Look Six: Topshop Unique , Look Seven: Christian Dior