Pre-seasons — just the basics or hints of what’s to come? Increasingly, they’re the latter. Once a mere refresher for racks either sparse or heavy with markdowns, pre-season collections have grown significantly, often comprising 50 percent of a store’s total seasonal buy. And with that increase in importance, the lines’ fashion quotient has increased. While designers are still unlikely to divulge any state secrets at this point, many now use the pre-season to tinker with possible themes for the runway. Here, thoughts on how pre-spring will translate into the upcoming collections.

Alexander McQueen at Givenchy: “Modernizing the suit, adding depth and movement by fabric manipulation.”

Calvin Klein: “The approach is relaxed for spring. That’s precisely why I’m continuing with an easy dress from pre-spring. Silhouettes move away from the body; shapes are more abstract, less fitted. Light textural fabrics, sometimes layered, create dimension.”

Donna Karan: “For pre-spring I believe in the celebration of the body, and that’s going to continue for spring. There’s lots of sheer, color and layering, and pieces with no structure that are relaxed, easy and comfortable to wear.”

Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel: “Spring reflects the spirit of the Chanel suit in tweed rachel, the
way it was famous in the Twenties.”

Rosita Missoni at Missoni: “For spring, mixing separates is still key, as are patchwork sweater dresses with graphic and modern motifs. For tailored looks, the main fabric is rayon followed by linen and cotton in intense hues such as plums, wine red and deep pink.”

Gianfranco Ferre: “The highlight for both spring and summer is a mixture of sporty, slightly masculine pieces with romantic, feminine ones. It’s an intelligent equilibrium that shows up in a clean silhouette.”

Alber Elbaz at Guy Laroche: “It’s a story about a woman who travels from Paris to Saint-Moritz, probably with a little stop in New York. There is an easy transition from daytime into evening with a silk sundress and with an overcoat that works as a shirt.”

John Galliano: “The dress communicates the spirit of fragile femininity, which will be carried through to the spring collection.”

Michael Kors: “Pre-spring sets the tone for spring — lots of skinny pants, short skirts and shaped pieces.”

John Galliano at Christian Dior: “Delicate and subtle prettiness.”

Emanuel Ungaro: “The primitive combined with the romantic, using modern shapes, like a slip enriched by a couture accent such as lace, layering of different materials and prints — all of these elements present in the cruise dress will reappear in my spring/summer collection.”

Ralph Lauren: “There is an incredible sensuality to pre-spring. Ease and drape define the new, softer silhouettes. Luxurious fabrics — buttery suedes, featherweight shantung, charmeuse and wool crepes and beading cut on the bias — bring a fresh modernity. You’ll see a continuation of this soft, clean sexiness for spring.”

Rebecca Moses at Genny: “The mood for spring is sexy-meets-urbane. We’re focusing on a simple yet luxurious dress or suit, enriched with a great detail such as a beautiful rhinestone-studded clasp or glass beads.”