Pre-Fall 14 part 4 / by Mike Tyle

With this 3rd & 4th installments I again found it really difficult when choosing one of my fave looks to show (ehm Valentino...). Nevertheless there were some great Pre-Fall collections and I am excited to see how they will do in stores as well as give direction to the comming FW14 season.

Lanvin- Classic Lanvin.

Louis Vuitton- Well done considering it was made between creative directors coming and going. But there were times I felt like I was looking at 2 very different collections. The first half was very LV/artsy the 2nd half was commercial as could be. While it may have been a jarring change in scenery and style the LV women was still obvious and the fabrics and cuts proved it.

Marni- It's hard for me not to like a Marni collection. This season was no different. I loved just about every look. There isn't much to say in terms of direction. Compared to SS14 this was more in a usual Marni fashion which was not broing in the least. Still playing with oversize silhouette, great furs and wool and lovely shoes. It had a bit or a MiuMiu feeling in several looks which I a not complaining about in the least. All in all print and fabric direction were what I except them to be... great!

Margiela- It's Margiela. You never know what to expect but as always I was excited to see what the team would come up with this time reinventing everyday wardrobe pieces into something so different yet so right. A subdued palette of grey, navy and black mixed with menswear styles. Oversize was the theme this season and it worked perfectly in terms of big cardigans, men's shirts with large sleeves, folded over men's pants moving into draped shift dresses and fur. Really you can't go wrong.

Matthew Williamson- Femine and bright colors, what more can one ask for from a Matthew Williamson pre-fall collection.

MaxMara- I got major Derek Lam vibes from this collection. Very clean and modern yet something about it was tired. Maybe because it skewed a bit old? the colors? One thing for sure, like Lam, wide-leg floods are not helping anyone.

No. 21- I find No.21 to be superior to big brother Alessandro Dell’Acqua. The right amount of wear-ability but still a little something that makes the customer know that the garment is special. This season I felt though that the over-all effect was a bit too close to a high end J.Crew. Maybe it was the military colors and sequence.

Nina Ricci- Work! As always the Ricci girl is ambiguous for being both girly and flirty yet sexy and seducing. this collection was no different. Keep that money coming!

Preen- I usually love Preen. Prints, colors, silhouette always on point. While there were several looks that I really liked and I also enjoyed the deep blueish pruple and pumpkin orange colors I found the bird theme could have been done in a much less gimmicky way. Also the writing on the jackets was not cute.

Pucci- I picture the Pucci girl skiing... Pucci girls don't ski but they do go to the Alps. That is where I picture this girl suited up and printed out. Bright fuschia, teal and ethnic prints to really stand out from the snow.

Ralph Lauren- Pure American Ralph. This is one of the best collections I have seen from RL in a long time, while the Ralph Lauren girl always stays true to clean sophisticated American sportswear. This time around there were no gimmicks or obvious themes aside form unpretentiously pretentious Upper-West Side women. Clean cashmere, jersey, silk, fur in tones of grey and beige shows that you don't need much to make something perfect. Classic.

Roberto Cavalli- Exactly what one would expect from a Cavalli line. Full of metallic, beading, embroidery and most importantly animal print! Italian in every way but as quick as this could look cheap I somehow always love it. I know I don't understand it either...

Roksanda IIincic- Very grown-up compared to other collection. I don't mean to say that the prior seasons were juvenile I just feel that the collection has the clear direction I have been searching for. This season the mix of bonded wool and the felt with scultpural silhouettes in bold colors was it.

Roland Mouret- I found the photography and model designer distracting. I get the idea was to show how everyday glamorous the collection could be but sadly I was too distracted by the lighting and surroundings to notice the garments which is a pity as Mouret is known for a great clean cut and red carpet ready looks. Good thing award season is upon us and I can see the dresses soon.

The Row- Modern, classic, conventional and yet so different from anything we are seeing. The Olsens have really brought forth another great collection of everyday basics but with luxury fabrics that eschew constantly changing themes instead showing whole other thought process to the way these pieces are worn. So constrained and meticulous yet easy.

Sonia Rykiel- The clothes looked comfy but I don't know if it was the angles or the model but she looked short and frumpy in a couple shots. I really liked how the print dresses ran off at the bottom though. Really shows design in the details which is always important.

Stella McCartney- Just when you think polka dots are done.... If there is one thing the Stella girl can do it is to make a masculine style feminine and sexy. Mixing dots, herringbone and line drawn people with boxy cuts brought together the line. The shoes, as always, were perfect.

Thom Browne- A new type of camouflage and the idea of men's preppy striped ties were the direction of this season over at Browne. Naturally the color palette wasn't without the typical red, white and blue which were put to use on the zany, yet satirically challenging pieces. One thing about Thome brown is, even if it isn't your style, the work that goes into his clothes are unprecedented in the American market. Full of detail and interesting fabrics. I am always intrigued as to what he will come up with next. Pre-Fall was a bit less theatrical and more wearable than his usual runway shows but none-the-less full of really great tweed, fur, jacquard and chunky knit pieces.

Valentino- Love. Ok, get the first thing out of the way... that many look is not Pre-Fall friendly or necessary. However when you have such a strong design lead and look it is hard not to make great ideas come to life. Unlike with D&G while it may be reoccurring it is also evolving and in a direction that keeps me excited to see what will come next. Capes and animal motifs, muted tones of moss green, grown and black with a dash of feathers in the right places. The geometric mink patterned coat? I died.