Anna October Pre-Fall 2024 Collection


For the last two-plus years, since she landed in Paris just after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Anna October has moved from strength to strength against all odds. And she’s seen some long-held dreams come true, as part of the “Women Dressing Women” feature in Vogue’s March issue, in an ongoing collaboration with J. Crew (where her latest capsule of summer cocktail-and-wedding-guest looks drops in June), and in her day-to-day life.

Now, she reckons, it’s time to build. “After 14 years running a brand, I no longer want to sit around and think about who I am. It’s time to assert myself as a designer,” October offered during a phone call from her fast-growing studio in Kyiv. “Yes, I can do a beautiful dress. But it’s about more than that. I’m looking at bigger themes.” Despite what this lookbook might appear to suggest: no, October is not expecting.

Describing these images as an extension of last season’s botanical garden theme, she said she got excited about stylist Omaima Salem’s idea of having Pegah Farahmand photograph mothers and children. “I’m tired of glamorizing only skinny girls in heels,” she quipped. “Now I want to shine a light on the poetry of everyday life.”

Leaning into an obsession with vintage glass, porcelain, and lavish dinner spreads, October gleaned inspiration from the hyper-realistic work of British artist Issy Wood, transposing delicate 3D florals onto a white bustier or a Wedgwood blue skirt hand-embroidered by women artisans in Ukraine. Those, plus a sleeveless ivory column dress wrested into a knotted front, represent a new avenue for the designer, who these days finds grounding in texture and relief. A white slip dress with a bodice in beaded crochet looked strong. So did a draped, fitted ivory taffeta bustier, paired here with a black taffeta skirt.

But a newfound diversity in terms of age, shape, and life stage—the designer’s most eclectic casting to date—may prove her smartest move of this season. It’s a message of optimism, she allowed. “Pessimism would be boring,” she said. “This collection is about the triumph of life. Amid cataclysm, creating and welcoming new life is the only way.”

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Tags: Anna October, Pre-Fall 2024, runway, runway_review

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