Yikes, the pre SS16 (or Resort, or Cruise) shows have already happened, so we already know what'll be hitting the rails once the sparkle of Christmas has faded!
This obviously feels like craziness to those yet to book a summer holiday and think about a bikini for this year! However, as we have mentioned before, fashion moves at break-neck speed with the process starting years in advance when colour forecasters begin their research into what palettes to present. Interestingly, the top designers also use these services which is why it can often seem like all the designers have had the same thought at the same time when the catwalk shows are presented. Of course the HIgh Street, that we know and love, also use this information and can start designing their "long lead-time" items (coats, knitwear, denim and accessories) before the shows have even happened. By the time they have, there will be a clear indication of the key themes and the "winners".
The fashion shows generally fall into Spring Summer (presented in September) and Autumn Winter (presented in February / March). The aim of these is for the International Buyers from all the main stores - think Selfridges and Harvey Nicholls in the UK, Barney's and Bergdorf Goodman in the States and Net-a-Porter and Shopbop online to plan an assortment for their own ranges which will then usually be pre-ordered via presentations in the designers' showrooms. Of course, the fashion press also attend along with invited bloggers to ensure the message of the season gets spread far and wide. The magazine fashion editors have to start planning their spreads months in advance and need to be able to spot which pieces they want to reserve and shoot for publication as soon as the models hit the runway.
Two fashion shows a year proved to be too infrequent however, with customers getting used to the fast fashion of the High Street and wanting newness more often, and thus the Resort or Pre shows began gaining more popularity and therefore coverage. Well-heeled ladies going away on beach holidays and cruises would demand new items from the season and hence "resort", "cruise" or the "pre" collections evolved into a much bigger event with many store budgets being used up entirely on it when customers realised they could get both new items and wearability usually at a much lower price-point than the main ranges.
So, what have we learned from Pre Spring 16..?
Gorgeous tropical florals - these cropped up all over the place (check out Stella McCartney or Marc Jacobs for the best), and will no doubt be an easy-win for the High Street - check out Warehouse and Ted Baker to get in on the Hot House action early.
Blush tones and Pink - popped up all over the place from delicate chiffons to full-on faux fur floor length coats, in shades from palest blush to bright ruby. These shades look amazing when paired with casual grey marl and is great news for anyone who invested in a pink coat a couple of seasons ago!
Bright colour-blocking and stripes - in all it's guises - casual in jersey or party-ready in sequins. Why dress down when you can wear the entire rainbow..?!
Texture - in the shape of sequins and fur (faux of course!). There's been a lot of fur around for a while now, and brands such as Shrimps have done a lot to move fake fur from shaggy and cheap-looking to a covetable piece. And next season this trend will continue albeit that it's for summer!
Other big details to keep an eye out for are mini pleats, lots and lots of ruffles, cropped wide-legged trousers and monochrome. The current markdowns are a brilliant time to scour the sale rails and be new-season now - ready, steady, shop!!!