If you don't enjoy wading through hordes of shoppers or fighting over discounted shoes, then spend this month checking out what next season has to offer. As the summer sales roll out, brands begin their previews for autumn fashion.
The commercial pre-autumn ranges are not overly exciting. So the tasters of autumn style are perfect for deciding what will be hot in September.
For fashionistas, keeping track online of your favourite labels and looks is a sensible step in deciding what to buy next season. After all, it's advisable to scout out the dress, coat, shoes or bag that will be breaking your piggy bank in the not-too-distant future.
Last week's autumn-winter press previews have pointed to some good contenders. I went to the Tod's and Hogan previews - ranges that are likely to surprise when they hit stores. Traditionally conservative heritage label Tod's has adopted a more daring and youthful strategy for autumn. With brothel-creeper-inspired flat shoes for women and leopard and zebra prints, it is a very now move for the label, especially with Derek Lam's collection of ready-to-wear for Tod's.
The Hogan by Karl Lagerfeld collection was a big talking point, and the highlight for me was the quilted jackets. I have my eye on a black leather jacket with a drawstring waist. But now at roughly Euro5,000 (HK$55,000) - it's clear that my eye is going to be the only part of my body enjoying that jacket for some time.
Louis Vuitton also showed its autumn-winter collection to the press. Wait until you see Marc Jacobs' deliciously subverted, fetishy yet demure concoctions next season. There was also a dashing D'Urban preview lunch that I missed, along with the Loewe autumn-winter preview. I really wanted to feel Loewe's perfectly cut leather coats from the Paris catwalk in March.
If thinking about winter jackets seems silly to you in this oppressive heat, then look even farther ahead to resort or spring-summer 2012. Last week, over lunch, Versace's managing director for Asia, Giuseppe Oliveri, told me that the end of 2011 and 2012 would be a huge time for the label.
The brand has recovered from near bankruptcy two years ago to announce a collaboration with H&M and become Lady Gaga's label du jour. (Seen the video, anyone?)
How good it is to see Donatella finally feeling comfortable enough to play with the bold icons and prints of the Versace archive.