Johanna Ortiz Pre-Fall 2019

“When you’re expecting something to receive in June or the end of May, you want to wear it immediately. You don’t want to wait two or three months to wear it,” Colombia-based Johanna Ortiz explained over the phone of the direction for her first pre-fall collection. The designer has been masterfully designing feminine frocks over the years and took to her first pre-fall collection to build out her daywear offerings — with an emphasis on easy summery shirts, skirts and dresses that could  transition into fall. A plaid suit, peach-colored eyelet blouse (one of Ortiz’ favorites) or button-downs with Western-inspired piping paired with a lightweight, leather skirt were among the highlights. While less ornate or frilly than her gowns or swimwear, they held the same feminine allure with versatile wearability.

Her expanded swimwear was great. Ditto to her gowns and flirty dresses, offered short for the first time this season. Both came in a varying jaguar prints — Ortiz’s first dip into using animal prints — best seen on a wonderful spotted dress with ribbon-ties at the shoulder and waist with matching Tabitha Simmons collaboration sandals or a ruffled one-shoulder navy maillot with the animal walking through Colombian coffee plants. (The print was also great on a long, eyelet dress.) Overall, the collection held Ortiz’s sought-after, feminine aesthetic while proving her reach beyond festive dressing.

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