Celine Classics (left to right): crombie coat, cashmere sweater and skinny trousers; patchwork poplin shirt and skinny trousers; and colour block boy’s shirt and tapered trousers.
For someone working in fashion, sale season is a total drag. Most things are not available in your size and shops turn into a scene from a Vera Wang bridal sample sale with women fighting over things they wouldn’t normally look at at full price. So rather than braving the crowds, I am going to take this time to stock up on the new arrivals landing in stores later this month.
Otherwise known as “Pre-fall” or “bridge” collections, these lines are traditionally more commercial than runway styles (which arrive mid-September) although this perception is changing fast. Many designers are now using their pre-collections to give their customers a more coherent idea of their style, and a “teaser” to what will appear on the runway a few months later. Sometimes they experiement with a style, and if it does well, it will appear later in a more “fashionable” form on the catwalks. One journalist friend describes pre-collections as a “dress rehearsal,” which is very true.
What many people also don’t know is that a very large percentage of the buyers’ seasonal budget is allocated to pre-collections (usually over 70 per cent) which means there is plenty to choose from and quantities are larger. Prices also tend to be more reasonable than runway as the idea is to keep these styles in your closet forever.
Which brings me to one of my favourite pre-collections this season, courtesy of Phoebe Philo at Celine. In a similiar vein to what Stefano Pilati is doing at Yves Saint Laurent, Philo has created Celine Classics, a capsule collection of timeless wardrobe staples that feature her best-selling signatures from the crombie coat and boy’s shirt to the men’s trousers and tuxedo jacket. In keeping with the season’s trends, she has abandoned her signature neutral palette and gone for bold colours instead with shades that remind me of Dries Van Noten from light pink and grass green to a rich colbalt blue.
Although it’s the most expensive item in the collection (at HK$23,000), I have my eye on the crombie coat with its slim cut shoulders and sharp men’s tailoring. You will wear this forever, trust me. Also check out the colour block boy’s shirt (HK$5,400) which is made from cotton and chambray – you can wear it all summer long and into next season.
Available at Celine, The Landmark, Central, Hong Kong, tel: +852 2525 1281.