While some designers find addressing the commercial realities of the pre-seasons creatively stifling, Zac Posen has embraced it. “You really get to build a collection in some collaborative way with the information from the retailer and your customer,” he said during a preview of pre-fall. “It makes a huge difference in how you focus a collection, where you bring in direction, what you know you want to push or introduce into it, and what builds the business.” For this time of year, that meant an expansion of separates, day and evening, with emphasis on bias-cut pieces, as well as providing embroideries at a range of price points by using a lot, or a little. And, of course, gowns, gowns, gowns. There were ultralightweight cotton floral gowns, sculpted mermaid gowns with Posen’s anatomical seams, a structured coral showstopper with a full architectural skirt, and an unfettered embroidered knit gown. Much of the collection was united by a pretty, flattering palette of deep purple, blue and pink, but most of the gowns stood on their own as individual works. “They should be stand-alone pieces,” Posen said. “Customers who are investing in something that is crafted this way don’t want to feel like they’re part of a larger collective.” Good point.

For many seasons now, Posen has forgone a show in the interest of investing in his look-book shoot, getting creative with the process by casting famous faces (Kate Upton and Katie Holmes in seasons past). This time, he pushed it a bit further, shooting Cinda Bruna and working collaboratively with Tokyo-based Tiffany Godoy, who operates The Reality Show digital magazine. They worked together to create collage, composite imagery that combines multiple angles, as well as voice and video components to use on Posen’s various platforms.

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