The whispers of fashion experts are predicting a fashion crisis. Because the period between individual collections and ever-growing sales goals are too short. Pre-fall and Resort are hanging on the salesroom floors longer than the runway pieces and, therefore, they have to offer more than “just” the commercial version of the main collections.
Vetements is one of the first labels to not only shorten and regulate the sale of bestsellers, but also to renounce pre-collections. Moreover, during the summer show in the fall, they’re showing their winter pieces, and vice versa. One could also assume that these are the measures of a small firm and are generally easier to implement than for established fashion houses with shops around the world. On the other hand, this could be a step for larger houses to take into the future. My favorite trends from the Pre-Fall collections are always very personalized and draw on past themes. Who wants to reinvent their look every three months?
My fascination for the so-called fairytale king began when I was a child. Day trips with my family to his castles across Bavaria were among our most beloved outings. Even though they aren’t particularly old (he lived and reigned in the late 18th century), their style and architecture are spectacular. Ludwig loved Wagner, the romance of the countryside and its animals, the opera in particular and he admired Louis XIV, the French “Sun King.” These are the inspirations that went into his estates. For example Neuschwanstein (which is the original Disney castle, by the way) is set at the foot of the Alps, in the midst of stone walls, trees and a romantic river to ensure that there is always the right amount of dramatic fog around the castle. Schloss Herrenchiemsee, which is famous for its “Wishing Table” elevator that brought Ludwig’s meals from the kitchen to his dining room without servants, is set on a small remote island in the middle of a beautiful lake. Nothing else is around. Just King Louis´s miniature Versailles. Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to finish it and, naturally, he didn’t actually have the chance to spend much time there. A fact that contributes to its mystery. Throughout my childhood I was truly fascinated with his story. And my admiration for this sensitive, introverted, art-loving but-not-able-to-rule king never ended. High on my wish list is to visit all his other castles that I haven’t managed to see yet.
This is also the simple explanation for my love of rich velvets, delicate crisp white lace collars, hunting green coats, military details, heavily stoned gold jewelry and many more beautiful details that I was so lucky to discover in the 2016 Pre-Fall collections. You might be able to understand my joy at seeing dark-brown corduroy coats with 70s lapels, belted with huge encrusted golden belt buckles, velvet boots and sandals with platforms in rich jewel shades, long-sleeved midi-length black silken velvet dresses with lace collars and heavy knitted socks as I sat in the beautiful Miu Miu presentation. I felt as excited as I did when I was a child walking through the fairytale king’s swimming pool-sized bathtub. When I was told the next day at the re-see of the collection that Miuccia Prada was inspired by Visconti’s Ludwig I couldn’t believe my luck and promised myself I would save all my money to acquire as many pieces as possible from this very collection.
Visconti´s so-called German trilogy Ludwig II with his boyfriend and lover Helmut Berger starring as the king was filmed in the early 70s. No surprise that his interpretation was not only one of a disturbingly beautiful and romantic ruler, but also played with the rumors about the kings homosexuality. No need to mention the scandal this interpretation stirred up with Germans and the old guard of monarchy-loyal Bavarians. The best thing about Visconti’s take on the fairytale king and his darker side is that filming mainly took place in original settings and with a 1970s translation of 18th century clothing. Just insane. And Romy Schneider played Queen Elizabeth again, long after her incredible Sissi success.
With all that in mind, I couldn’t be happier to find references to that particular era and to see this in many collections – from military coats at Gucci, Burberry and Saint Laurent, to pretty lace collars at Erdem.
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HUGH HEFNER for all
While I was imagining how to wear all those amazing, beautiful pajama suits (consisting of bathrobe jackets and wide pants) in the prefall collection, I happened to read this article to social in Zeit Magazine. And that’s how I came to the slightly dubious, dusty, male “role model,” taking a small leap in time of about 150 years and landing, yes, exactly (!), at Hugh Hefner’s “signature look” of luxurious silk pajama suits with slippers. My favorites are the mink belt and pants look from Fendi, or the silk print version with Chucks from Roberto Cavalli. What’s most important about this look is definitely the attitude that has to be worn with it: elegant and confident during the day – just as old master Hugh taught it. That said, I’d go a bit further and definitely take it to the streets!
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Obviously, animal print is an issue that my colleagues and I can’t escape. Maybe it’s because Kate, looking hot in a Supreme t-shirt and leopard print coat, watches over us when we’re raising our glasses in our Berlin HQ? Good news: the “wild things” coat from the Resort collection can definitely remain in our closets! Bad news: the new versions from Alexander Wang, Ellery and Stella McCartney are already pretty much classics and irresistible, because they work during the day and night. My personal highlights are the alienated versions, like the midi skirt from Saint Laurent, the hats from J.W. Anderson and the gangster hoodie from Giamba.
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As I was writing my SS16 trend report, in particular on my favorite subject – slipdresses – I was sure that my love of satin couldn’t grow any more. Then along came the Pre-Fall collection from Acne Studios. And the continuation of the material (and dress) from the 90s in the form of a rust-colored phenomenon with a velvet (of course!) bustier. What a coincidence that the dress of the season (as seen at the fantastic Prada men’s show in Milan) shimmers like copper-colored silk. Especially amazing was the styling on the beautiful Julia Hafstrom as a contrast to the thickly knitted diamond pattern. Naturally, not in combination, but to make sense of the infernal trio: the bomber jacket from Alexander Wang with beautiful palm embroidery is another collector’s piece in satin.
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Red is a classic for the lips, nails and one or another famous evening gowns. That’s why I find it all the more exciting that designers are using dark rose red as a stylistic device. Alessandro Michele presented Gucci with ribbed red stockings to shake up his girly looks. At Philosophy Lorenzo Serafini styled red knitted turtlenecks under his romantic boho looks, Dior had a subtle approach to the exceptional color pairing it with their point-covered slip dresses in the form of a luxurious crocodile bag, while Valentino put deep red flower jewelry in model’s hair. I’m definitely going to try it.
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BOMBERS NEXT LEVEL
We already know the bomber jacket from my Resort 2016 summary. We’re going to say goodbye to the theme (at least for jackets, but more on that later), and replace it with incredibly cool, classic military versions. Alexander Wang and Burberry clearly set the tone and I would say, welcome to all you harbingers of Li Edelkoort’s “Work It” forecast.
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WoMAN on the moon
I can’t get it out of my head. I was recently asked which color I would absolutely never wear. Surprise – I answered GRAY! And as chance would have it, J.W. Anderson, Christopher Kane and Peter Dundas for Roberto Cavalli showed really exciting looks in exactly this color. Maybe it’s because the focus is solely on the silver tone. It’s definitely about head-to-toe styling.
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Checks are my favorite pattern, next to the aforementioned leopard. I think its versatility is exciting and that it works day as well as night. British and classic at Prada and Miu Miu, with fishnet stockings as seen at Chanel Métiers d’Art and with a touch of punk at Tomas Maier and Acne Studios.
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On this topic the Italian designers (Valentino, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli) are unanimous. Denim can withstand a few cute details like butterfly patches and glitter stars. Even if it’s not particularly versatile, these pieces are already collector’s items and the perfect medicine for any bad mood day.
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Born and raised in Munich/Germany, Veronika’s professional career has developed from being a model to a fashion editor, to online luxury retailing and most recently style editor of Harpers Bazaar Germany. She currently lives in Berlin where in the beginning of 2015 she started a company with Julia Knolle, the ex-editor at large of Vogue Digital.
Oh, and she loves pugs!
Please send all inquiries via instagram.com/veronikaheilbrunner. The email address firstname.lastname@example.org will no longer be handling this form of communication.