It’s been some time since Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have played by the book for pre-collections. This season, they went back to their format of yore, staging a series of mini presentations in their showroom — no embargoed photos, no combining the pre’s with the main seasons. “We’re really working on developing core basics that we can rerun season after season in new shapes,” said McCollough, making examples of a new group of acid-washed denim that extended from their spring runway, and updates on the long-sleeved velvet tie-dye dress that sold out from their fall 2018 collection.

Pre-fall was far from refreshes and same-old, though. Talking through the 16 looks presented on models, Hernandez and McCollough spoke in familiar fashion vernacular — the tension of masculine and feminine, sportswear, layering, a Nineties vibe — but expressed their vision by building silhouettes with a strong attitude. You forgot you were looking at a commercial collection. Hernandez described the slightly sour shades of pink, yellow and baby blue as “sick pastels.” Almost all dresses — a yellow plaid style cut in a circular pattern that draped around the waist, and lingerie slips that were more tough than sweet — were styled over pants, either long cigarette shapes that zipped up the back or long, loose pajama pants. A leather wrap dress was worn over exaggerated wide-leg trousers in acid-washed denim. A black bra top was styled over an ivory shell and high-waisted moleskin pants. A mannish plaid blazer had lapels that converted into a scarf detail. Tie-dyed velvet tops came with pleated compression knit skirts.

Shoes and boots were a major statement, with the majority of looks anchored in riffs on classic Frye styles that were a hybrid between a clog and a motorcycle boot. As for bags, there’s an addition to the PS11 family, a saddle bag in embossed corduroy detail with snakeskin accents. While business-wise, McCollough and Hernandez have been going through a time of internal changes, the collection reflected steady focus. The show goes on. 

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