While most Pre-Fall 2013 collections are short of a year from hitting retail, its influence on our style could not have come at a more opportune time. Whether your look has been stifled by the cold winter air or confused by the delivery of all things Resort and Spring that have begun hitting the retail shelves, then we suggest you take a few minutes to get inspired by the most covetable looks from Pre-Fall. And because we know it can get a bit tricky to figure out which trends to follow when faced with so many options, we've done the dirty work for you by ranking this season's top looks you need to check ASAP.
20. 3.1 Phillip Lim's Bright Biker
Creating a more subtle fashion outlet for those fond of the Harley-Davidson biker, Phillip Lim used bright colors, satiny fabrics and graphic designs to upgrade the forever cool rock 'n' roll style the fashion world has been keen on referencing.
19. Narciso Rodriguez's Luxe Knit
Narciso Rodriguez showed off an even more luxe side to his line, if that's even possible, with gorgeous soft knits that were feminine and classic. Take this gorgeous look that we can imagine being worn by the likes of Kate Middleton.
18. Zero + Maria Cornejo's Subtle Femininity
Designer Maria Cornejo gave her collection a more feminine perspective by focusing on the waist. Despite her newfound focus, the clothes maintained that effortless cool style the designer has been long known for creating.
17. Donna Karan's Empowered Coat
Rendered almost exclusively in bonded jersey and neoprene and in a simple palette of black, grey and white, it's safe to say that Donna Karan was aiming for a no-nonsense kind of look this season. Empowering and strong sculpted pieces like this dramatic coat are meant to make the urban woman even more fierce than ever.
16. Alice + Olivia's LBD Alternative
A really chic option for eveningwear comes courtesy of Alice + Olivia's sequined palazzo pants, a standout piece from the Pre-Fall collection. Edgy, sexy, but with a surprising amount of sophistication, these pants feel so fresh, especially coming out during an era that seems to exclusively favor bandage dresses and girly frocks.
15. Badgley Mischka's Mayan Take
Like all important current events, the Mayan's erred (in retrospect) calendar also made its mark on fashion. And unlike the fizzled reality, Badgley Mischka's reference is simply beautifully. Aztec and Mayan art drove a huge chunk of the eveningwear choices, like this glam floor-length dress that is part Aztec, part Art Deco, entirely breathtaking.
14. Thakoon's Version of Cool
Redefining the notion of cool, Thakoon's Pre-fall collection includes artfully draped cardigans, sophisticated separates and modern knits. Somber colors, like on this knit striped sweater, are a great prelude to fall's palette.
13. Bottega Veneta, Your Tailoring is Showing
Tailoring was front and center at Bottega Veneta and it will be difficult to resist the precise allure of a double-breasted smoking worn with parachute silk pants. The big takeaway from this versatile collection, however, was Tomas Maier's devotion to both craft and material as exemplified by this striking black leather dress that bordered on goth and glam.
12. Preen's Hard Edged Sophistication
Unlike their usual repertoire of bandaged tight frocks and textured separates, Preen's Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi took their line into a completely new wave, an 80s one at that. Focusing on dramatic hues in blood red and midnight black, along with graphic patterns including this quilted tartan sweatshirt that incorporated a definite boy-girl element, and delved into the line's new sense of hard edged sophistication.
11. Vera Wang: Jacquard It Is
If this past fall's foray into jacquard left you feeling sophisticated, beautiful and all sorts of regal, then you'll find yourself driven to Vera Wang's Pre-Fall collection. Experimenting with different colors and fabrics like a super luxe floral damask and corded jacquard, the queen of upscale dressing combined the most gorgeous pieces into single looks like this unconventional suit.
10. Tory Burch Reworks Military
Reworking one of the most recurring trends to date, Tory Burch still manages to make the military jacket all her own. Executing a luxe version in a gently oversized shape, Ms. Burch pairs it with ethnic inspired pieces like this beaded peasant-styled frock, a combination that feels both new and supremely welcome.
9. Rag & Bone's Simple Separates
Proving that sometimes simple works best, the boys at Rag & Bone took to grounded separates that touched upon 60s fashion. Going by the label's previous and present success, cool-retro separates, like this crisp white and navy button down that was artfully paired with orange trousers with blue piping, will no doubt be incorporated into many wardrobes by this time next year.
8. Erdem's Dramatic Designs
Erdem Moralioglu focused on the dramatics of texture and color to amp up his gorgeous collection. Floor length styled A-line dresses and organza skirts further demonstrated the designer's technical acuity that has kept the label at the top of its game.
7. Gucci's Iconic Coat
Gucci is yet another designer that gave the coat, its "it" status this season by playing with silhouette and form. No doubt influenced by one of the most important visionaries in the fashion world, Cristobal Balenciaga, this look hints at iconic and classic, all while remaining current.
6. Proenza Schouler's Best Of
Painted white and cut in a boxy shape and combined with logo black and white trousers, Proenza Schouler's first look for Pre-Fall further recognized what sets apart the CFDA award-wining designers from the rest of the pack: editorial fantasy that manages to fall into the wearable category as well.
5. Alexander Wang's Confident Suiting
Just mere hours after being officially installed as Balenciaga's new Creative Director, Alexander Wang showed off his Pre-Fall collection. And judging by the results of his cleanly tailored designs, a newfound maturity has found its way into the designer's edgy repertoire. Take this somber vest that keyed on both sophistication and cool thanks to the designer's penchant for details like a zipped on double lapel.
4. Oscar de la Renta's Bedazzled Taffetta
While lacking a bit in the daywear category this season, Oscar de la Renta, more than made up for that fizzle with his masterful eveningwear. A definite favorite that we cannot wait to see on the red carpet is the lineup's closing number, a buttery yellow taffeta gown that dazzled with drama and brilliance, further reclaiming Oscar as the king of New York eveningwear.
3. Christopher Kane's Spooky Details
For his first ever Pre-Fall collection,
2. Calvin Klein's Sexy V
One of the designer's best lineups to date, Francisco Costa's Pre-Fall Collection for Calvin Klein truly delivered. Both sensual and modern, the designer focused and improved upon his tried technique that works material and form into an impressive collection that borders on art. The provocative yet minimal deep V plunge on this leather shift is a forward look that proves both versatile and wearable, two features that are at times rare in the fashion world.
1. Chanel's Scottish Romance
No surprise here, Chanel has once again landed the top spot on our fashion rankings. And how could it not, with its sterling collection that featured a little bit of everything Scottish, including magnificent kilts, tweeds, argyle and tartan, all the while interacting with the house's traditional Parisian flair. Leave it to Karl to transport us season to season in the most magnificent attire without ever feeling like its been overdone. And while we had to pick one look above all, note that there were plenty more that captured our fashion hearts. Our top pick: a drop-waisted kilt-pleated coat, with all the glorious trimmings of a grand winner.