If the industry’s current obsession with Gucci is a barometer of everything that’s now, then every Pre-Fall trend worth knowing about could be found in the Italian house’s collection. Without sounding too jaded, creative director Alessandro Michele’s offerings were more of what we’ve seen since his Fall 2015 debut at the house, but with maybe a tad more sparkle: colorful suiting, floral blouses and dresses, flouncy scarves tied around the neck in large floppy bows, statement coats and jackets in (occasionally animal) prints and patterns, and pleated, lamé skirts. The only thing missing was the ubiquitous slip dress. The mood in fashion (and very much the mood at Gucci) is veering towards the idea of “more is more,” a notion that sums up the bulk of the Pre-Fall 2016 offerings. The season hits stores at a funny time— late May to June—and remains on the floor for two to three months, so designers have the ability to provide a huge variety of clothes in their collections. This season, the strongest points of note were statement coats (often in patch work, colored fur, and shearling) at Fendi, Sonia Rykiel, and Stella McCartney; the aforementioned slip dress in silks and velvet at Acne, Givenchy, Alexander Wang, and Chanel; lots of femininity via lace and pastels at Giorgio Armani, Nina Ricci, and Altuzarra; ’40s-esque mid-calf pleated skirts at Valentino, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Christopher Kane; and suits at Prabal Gurung, Tibi, and Alexander McQueen. See? All could be found at Gucci.
This shift towards excess, however, is a clear barometer for what to expect from the upcoming Fall 2016 shows, and is a notion that has been brewing within the fashion landscape for some time. Whether you call it maximalism, drama, excess, or simply “more,” the look du jour is moving away from the Céline- and Calvin Klein-inspired sleek lines and cocoon coats that we have come to depend on, and toward a decadent, multicolored, layered look that screams eclecticism. Dare we say it, the latest mode of dress demands a little more glamour and effort than slinging on your favorite black turtleneck, tailored trousers, and backless loafers. For Fall 2016 we’re expecting more layered accessories (McQueen already experimented with crossed chains for Spring 2016), more color, more fabrications, and more, well, inventiveness. Keep your eye out for the brightest new stars: Demna Gvasalia, who will debut his first collection for Balenciaga in March, the recently-instated boys at Courrèges, Brandon Maxwell, who’s set to show his second lineup in New York, and Johnny Coca, the new man at Mulberry. If individuality and quirkiness are currently swimming around your head, expect to see even more representation on the runway come February and March.