Pre-Fall 2010 Recap: Part 2

Derek Lam Pre-Fall 2010

As Seventh Avenue designers engage in full-on Fall 2010 Fashion Week mode, they didn’t abandon their Pre-Fall pursuits.

Derek Lam and Tuleh’s Bryan Bradley both tackled the needs of the stylish working woman, with the former showcasing a “no fuss, no muss” lineup of wardrobe essentials that included dresses, trousers and outerwear classics all updated with modern punctuation points. Fur and leather trim a wool felt coat, for example, while a simple belted silk and wool jacquard dress was awash in ikat prints in “Avatar” blue. Over at Tuleh, romantic and feminine blouses—a signature—were featured in contrasting, and often times, ruffled, fabrics like pairing vintage-inspired lace with a eye-catching neon rose pattern. Responding to his clients—and one in Atlanta in particular—Tuleh even created a silk kimono with exaggerated fur cuffs.

Over at ADAM, designer Adam Lippes, like many of his peers, is preparing to take flight. Inspired by birds, the collection transitioned from cotton into wool tweed oh-so-subtlely and featured floating feathers and bird motifs on bow blouses, full skirts and maxidresses. A three-in-one silk T-shirt dress was a standout. Speaking of maximizing versatility, menswear-inspired tailoring was also on order in the form of slim black pants and charcoal pantsuits. Also known for classic daywear, DKNY, turning 21 next year, went graphic with American staples a la Harlequin romance: khaki trenches, twill blazers and color-blocked dresses were cast in a classic black-and-white palette juxtaposed against playful navy-and-red nautical stripes and anchor motifs that.

Always on point but with their own twist, Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez turned to the late J.D. Salinger classic, “The Catcher in the Rye,” for inspiration with their boyishly charming preppy looks. But the similarities end there. Textured coats and faux fur bombers mixed with tweed dresses (with sparkly hologram prints), beaded necklines and collegiate suits—further reinforcing their too-cool-for-school vibe that was, according to the designers, “conservative.” The duo is also introducing a 25-piece capsule collection of lower-priced items.

Away from the classroom or boardroom, Kate Spade creative director Deborah Lloyd has it down to a science. Seeking adventure through travel, pre-fall is all about ladylike safari must-haves: an updated safari jacket and shorts in foiled linen; more ikat print wrap dresses and ruffled knit frocks. Accessorizing it all is vintage-inspired jewelry and an assortment of classic totes and day bags in everything from ombré linen to hot pink leather.

Last but not least, red carpet denizens Monique Lhuillier and Reem Acra channeled their red-carpet mastery but with a somewhat pared-down sensibility. Lhuillier, tapping her inner diva, marched forward with her divine creations—strapless nude crystal-embroidered dress anyone? Rosette-covered chiffon ball skirt? Acra, meanwhile, mixed in with her trademark Grecian draped column dresses a healthy assortment of price-friendly sequined separates and cocktail dresses that didn’t sacrifice any high-stakes wattage.