In 2022, the pre-fall season—the in-between collections that rarely get as much attention as their fall and spring counterparts—made history. For its Métiers d’Art 2023 show, Chanel became the first European or US-based luxury house to ever put on a runway show in Sub-Saharan Africa, taking its pre-fall wears to Dakar, the capital of Senegal. As part of a three-day program immediately following Dakar Fashion Week, the label collaborated with local artists, dancers, musicians, and writers, highlighting them both at the presentation and throughout the week. The robust programming could have overshadowed the clothing—which Chanel’s show notes described as inspired by “the pop-soul-fun-disco-punk decade” of the ’70s—but Virginie Viard staged a boho-focused collection that had the crowd (which included Naomi Campbell and Pharrell Williams ) on its feet. Later, in March 2023, Dior decamped to Mumbai to mark the launch of its pre-fall collection with a spectacular show against the backdrop of the historic Gateway to India. The presentation served as a celebration of traditional Indian craftsmanship and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s decades-long collaboration with the master artisans at the city’s storied Chanakya ateliers. One month later, Louis Vuitton headed to Seoul for its very first womenswear presentation in the South Korean capital, staging a magnificent show on the Jamsugyo Bridge at the Han River. For the occasion, the acclaimed Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk acted as a creative advisor, marking the first time the double-decker bridge played host to a fashion show. (The event also represents one of the first splashy initiatives from the brand’s new chairman and chief executive officer Pietro Beccari.) Vuitton’s expedition was staged in harmony with 2023-2024 Visit Korea Year—an effort that celebrates local culture and spurs tourism to the country. The house is also partnering with the Korea Tourism Organization on various short-term and long-term projects, from preserving natural resources of the Han River to opening a book kiosk and photo exhibition. And in late May, Versace debuted its “La Vacanza” collection—the first of its kind for the house, which partnered with Dua Lipa as co-designer on the garments. The runway show was staged at a fabulous manse in Cannes, coinciding with the 76th annual film festival there. It made for the perfect backdrop to showcase fabulous, gilded, ’70s-inspired wears that would fit perfectly on the beach (or on stage at Dula Peep’s next tour).
This year is all about proving how crucial to the fashion trend cycle the in-between seasons can be. Check back often as we keep track of the most outstanding looks.
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