Spring has just about sprung – a month after British summertime allegedly kicked off and with sluggish temperatures still hovering around the early teens. But don't tell the fashion industry. As far as it's concerned, we've been in the tights-to-the-wind throes of balmy, bare-legged summer since mid-December, when the spring collections began to trickle into the shops. That tricky inbetweeny season “Resort” (or “Cruise” if you prefer) drops even sooner – November, usually. But this spring's collections aren't especially springy: Saint Laurent has ankle-length leather skirts, Prada is packed with fur, Miu Miu slicked with vinyl. All sounds hot and bothersome for summer. But those collections are the ones that are sold out. It leads one to wonder how relevant the idea of seasons are to fashion nowadays. Labels are rushing to sprout stores in Brazil, whose winters and summers are at odds to our own.
Designers are increasingly encouraged to eschew wool and cashmere suiting in favour of fabrics adaptable to all climes, as said emerging markets challenge the dominance of European climatic seasons. Fur, however, doesn't count – wealthy women will just crank up the air-con and layer on another stole.
During the Salone de Mobile in Milan earlier this month, Prada released a capsule of its pre-fall and winter collections into its Via Della Spiga flagship. I once saw Anna Dello Russo (right) – of Japanese Vogue – outside a Versace show in open-toed sandals and bare legs. It was January and 8pm. Snow was falling. I couldn't help but blurt out: “Aren't you cold?” Dello Russo looked at me as if I was insane and then went off to talk to someone much less weird. Presumably dressed in next season, this season, too.
Alexander Fury is the editor of 'LOVE' magazine