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Anna October Pre-Fall 2024 Collection



Over the past two years, since she landed in Paris shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Anna October has gone from strength to strength against all odds. And she has seen some long-cherished dreams come true, as part of the ‘Women Dressing Women’ feature in Fashion‘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 everyday life.

Now it’s time to build, she thinks. “After fourteen years of running a brand, I no longer want to sit still 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 Kiev. “Yes, I can make a beautiful dress. But it’s about more than that. I look at bigger themes.” Despite what this lookbook seems to suggest: no, don’t expect October.

She described these images as an extension of last season’s botanical garden theme and said she became excited about Pegah [Farahmand]’s idea to photograph mothers and children. “I’m tired of only charming skinny girls in heels,” she joked. “Now I want to shine a light on the poetry of everyday life.”

Obsessed with vintage glass, porcelain and sumptuous dinner spreads, October drew inspiration from the hyper-realistic work of British artist Issy Wood, transposing delicate 3D floral motifs onto a white bustier or a blue Wedgwood skirt, hand-embroidered by female artisans in Ukraine. These, plus a sleeveless ivory column dress incorporated into a knotted front, represent a new path for the designer, who today finds his basis in texture and relief. A white slip dress with a crochet beadwork bodice looked strong. This also applies to a draped, tight-fitting bustier made of ivory taffeta, here combined with a skirt made of black taffeta.

But a newfound diversity in terms of age, shape and stage of life – the designer’s most eclectic casting yet – could prove to be her smartest move this season. It’s a message of optimism, she admitted. “Pessimism would be boring,” she said. “This collection is about the triumph of life. In the midst of catastrophe, creating and welcoming new life is the only way.”