Designers get very #extra during the cruise collections, throwing giant extravaganzas in far flung locations around the globe. Cruise, a.k.a. resort, the season between spring and fall whose clothes land in stores around November/December, has all the big designer names participating in these spectacles. From Virginie Viard's first collection for Chanel in the Grand Palais that was transformed into a train station, to Dior infiltrating Morocco and Prada coming to NYC, see below for all of the best looks from the season built for fabulous vacations.
Gabriella Hearst looked to strong women as inspiration for Resort, Simone Weil, an early spiritual activist, her own mom, Bo Derek, Patti Smith. The clothes reflect those archetypes in a melding of masculine and feminine—tea does lace camis and dresses, smart polka dots, tailored suiting, luxe cashmere dresses. Hearst is a fabric fanatic and sustainability has been her mission since day one—she does it with a luxury hand that’s unmatched.
In a clever melding of polka dots with studs, Teddy Boy boyishness with '40s Old Hollywood glamour, pumps with bold ankle straps and classic creepers, Michael Kors gave us his version of the vacations season—think: polka-dot swim suits, red sequined gowns, and a plaid trench. It's witty and fun, Resort for all-year-round, with a heavy nod to tailoring. Knitwear was also king, with studded cardigans and Irish knits. In other words, the Kors girl is covered for Resort.
Clare Waight Keller is a stellar designer as well as a working mom, and it shows. She's dressing women for their actual lives—with tailoring for work, great coats, and ultra-feminine eveningwear. For Resort, she put an emphasis on tailoring, a standout military coat, the bold faux furs that the designer has been playing with for seasons, and, of course, those gowns. Consider it a wardrobe for the fashion-forward every-woman.
Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough hit all the high notes: innovative linen suiting, dresses cinched at the waist with leather, little '90s inspired bags with buckle details, pleating on simple white skirts, bold sequined looks, and a shearling that manages to nip in at the waist. These two play with fabric, layering, and jackets that can be worn multiple ways, with buckles, and belts. The palette is simple—black, white, tan, a cool shade of yellow—but there's nothing straightforwardly simple about this level of design.
Coach is all about the girl who loves a good vintage store find, but done perfectly—a leather trouser, a billowing tunic dress, a patent leather anorak, the little plaid suit. The brand integrated the "Horse and Carriage" motif, throughout, on bags and tops, to a sort of '70s graphic effect—all paired with high top trainers and platform boots.
In a recent podcast, Cate Holstein said women want three things, "denim, cotton, and cashmere." That formula seems to be working for this minimalist designer. Her pieces are special, feminine, but never overwrought. There are bold sleeves, sleeveless gowns, and a denim pencil skirt we need in our closets right this second. And that's the trick; these are clothes you want to wear every day, not just dream in.
Alessandro Michele made a political statement and showed Gucci's resort collection at the oldest museum in the world, the Musei Capitolini, in Rome last night. Models walked among statues lit by torches, perhaps as a nod to the idea that we might be returning to the dark ages. Women in the U.S. are under attack, with politicians voting to severely limit their reproductive rights, and Michele took the runway as an opportunity for activism. A suit jacket made a statement with My Body, My Choice on the back, and a pretty white dress was embroidered with an image of a uterus on the front. The date 22.05.1978, the day the Italian law protecting legal abortion took effect, popped up on other pieces. There were also beautifully draped gowns that were super feminine and pretty—a clear message that Michele isn't here just to make women feel beautiful; he'll do his part to get the message out that their rights need to be protected as well.
For Ricardo Tisci's Burberry, it's all about the balance—streetwear, complete with leopard-print bucket hats, suiting for the corporate ladies, those English tropes that Burberry owns so well (ahem, the trench coat), and a little glitz for an evening out. Lifestyle brand is an overused term, but this season proves Burberry wants to be in your closet for every need and occasion.
For Resort, Tory Burch skipped her past references on the Mediterranean and went a little closer to home—farm country in Pennsylvania to be exact, where she spent her summers growing up. A little bit of patchwork, a little embroidery, a fair isle sweater, wildflower florals, and a great shearling plaid coat were just some of the high notes to come out of the inspiration.
Vuitton carted guests all the way to JFK to show off the newly renovated TWA Flight Center, originally designed by the architect Eero Saarinen in 1962. But don’t expect some standard issue mod collection from the cool fashion master. “I was lucky enough to have landed at the TWA Flight Center in the late Nineties. It was something I could never forget. This place was forgotten for twenty years, and now has come back to life. It’s like a sanctuary that’s been revived and seeing it enchant anew in a different iteration, as a hotel, is a great pleasure," says creative director Nicolas Ghesquière.
"It’s about rediscovering of an uncommon place that yet is a part of American heritage,” he adds of the locale, outfitted with jungle plants for the occasion.
The collection celebrates New York City in ways both overt and subtle, with glimmering jackets that looked like the Art Deco Chrysler building, and others with graffiti inspired New York City written out in the back. Pinstriped suits gave a nod to Wall Street from the era that was decidedly the heyday of that famed money strip—the 1980s. Bermuda shorts and corsets provided an unexpected silhouette, and peplum skirts are making a comeback. Trousers are belted, high waisted and slim at the ankle, paired with sequined black and silver cropped capes and velvet corset hybrid tops. Of course, there are bags that we need to get a closer look at; was that a screen on one of them? New York is nothing short of cinematic, and while this cinematic locale made an impact, the fashion rose to the occasion.
Virginie Viard came out of the gate for her first collection with a bang. Or perhaps, it's more apropos to say she pulled into the station? The Grand Palais was transformed into a chic train station, complete with Chanel-ready destinations listed like Antibes and Rome. The looks honor the aesthetic of Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, while putting Viard's stamp subtly throughout. We're still getting to know her, but this Chanel girl has something very cool and a bit mysterious about her—those all-over logos, those big bows, the miniskirts. There was the iconic black and white combo, but there was also plenty of color; pink, green, blue, fuchsia, mauve and sky contrasted with deep bister, brown, cobalt, and navy. We're on board for all of it—literally.
Prada came to NYC for the second year in a row and took on the classics through the lens of Miuccia Prada. Men's shirting is transformed into dresses and shorts. Plaid blazers are oversized, socks are ankle length, and there's a tennis sweater worth swooning over. It's a subdued glamour—think swing coats, pleated midi skirts, and insouciantly flung scarves, all in go-to shades of navy, pale blue,
"Multichromatic" brights, tonal hues, easy whites—the brand calls it the push and pull of dichotomies: "Rich and humble, youth versus heritage, uptown versus downtown." Prada girls will love it.
For its Resort 2020 collection, the French fashion house traveled to one of its most stunning locations yet: Marrakech. The Moroccan city not only served as host to Dior's latest runway; its artists and culture helped inspire and create the collection. The theme was "Common Ground," which it sought to achieve through a series of collaborations with several African artists, offering a fresh point-of-view from the storied French fashion house. At a time when the fashion industry is increasingly being called out for cultural appropriation, it was a risky move—but Maria Grazia Chiuri aimed for appreciation, not appropriation.
The artistic director tapped Anne Grosfilley, an anthropologist specializing in African textiles and fashion, to consult on the entire collection. Grosfilley helped source fabrics and reinterpret signature Dior motifs with Uniwax, a local manufacturer from Ivory Coast. Several pieces were done in 100% African Wax—made from cottons grown, spun, and printed in Africa. Chiuri also enlisted Grace Wales Bonner (a British-Jamaican designer whose work explores a hybrid of European and African fashion) and Mickalene Thomas (a contemporary African-American artist) to reimagine Dior's iconic New Look silhouette. -Lauren Fisher