Got a call from Justine Fairgrieve (the founder of Relative): "Giles has invited you over for a cuppa and a look at his pre-fall, fancy it?" Prefall is a current working obsession. Giles is funny, charming and a very smart designer who never takes himself too seriously and yet has a very serious business creating collections for his own line GILES, new client Ungaro and various other projects. I was there.
Why the prefall obsession? Fashion consumers' desire for frequent deliveries on new product has made the in between collections pretty major. So these days while the runway shows are designed to create media buzz and set trends, pre sets the agenda for how we will actually dress and offers a hint of what might come in the mainline.
Did you know we are in fact far more likely to end up wearing "pre" collections for our daily working and social lives. Why? Because its what the stores buy most of! Tom Chapman the co-owner of Matches recently told me pre collections constitute the majority of their buy.
Evidence of how the pre category has vaulted to high importance status was demonstrated last week when several of the world's eminent fashion editors and designers congregated in New York to view/show pre-fall collections. Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga and Celine presented in showroom. Lanvin even had a pre-fall fashion show.
Next week the Haute Couture shows will take place in Paris. For the average busy fashion editor there are six significant Couture shows to attend, but for the first time I can remember an equal number of hours will be spent viewing the pre-fall collections from labels ranging from Chloe to YSL.
"You need workness. It can't be boring. Really, I see this as setting the agenda for how I move forward on the runway collection."
Then it's time for tea and we discuss the inspirations for his runway show, (to be revealed later) and he shows me the venue for his Ungaro show in Paris on March 7th. It is a government building that has never been used for a fashion show, and it took 11 years of asking for Ungaro to be allowed to use it. Judging from the pictures the ambiance of the Ungaro show will be utterly magical.