Erin Fetherston is a girl’s girl through and through, and for the resort/holiday collection she delivered exactly what the most feminine could desire. In the constant cycle of collections it’s easy to overlook the purpose of a line, namely, to clothe the body. When searching for a New Year’s dress or a light frock for a post-holiday vacation, it’s likely that the search will lean more towards fun and functional than the conceptual artistry of the larger main collections.
With Fetherston’s diffusion line, Erin by Erin Fetherston, which debuted for fall 2011, she sought to give girls just that. “It wasn’t so much a conceptual line, like the major spring and fall collections. I wanted to experiment with different fun fabrics but make something that could transition from holiday weather to spring,” she said. Centering around staple party dresses at more affordable prices (no item exceeds $695, and the average price is about $375), the line is a perfect mix of transitional yet seasonal pieces and avoids the wear-it-once demon that may set you back more than a one-night dress should.
Rebecca Minkoff‘s resort girl doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere super fancy and inaccessible like Capri or the French Riviera but she’s having fun (she might even have to, gasp, work a little during the resort months, hence the sensible and mixable separates). Harder edged pieces like cropped leather and suede jackets were paired with delicate lace shorts. Lace was woven throughout the collection, in black and white separates, girly shift dresses, and boldly dyed aqua for a cropped top and skirt ensemble. The aqua pops pair nicely with bursts of orange and a pretty marbled print stood out on tops and dresses.
“Who actually wants a physical lookbook these days?” Chris Benz asks as he hands me a rubber band with a USB chip attached at the end. Not I, especially not when I’m looking at these candy clothes close-up, in all their splendor, at the designer’s studio on 37th Street. “We were inspired by Bermuda–or rather, the idea of Bermuda,” Benz tells me. Indeed, there are bermuda shorts, nubbly twills, even a few chambray pieces, all made for the lady on holiday who doesn’t take dressing up–or herself–too seriously. It’s all about having fun, from the painterly leopard print to the Alejandro Ingelmo x Chris Benz sneakers in pretty patterns to the label’s bright collaboration with jewelry brand The Woods. (There are even a couple of swimsuits–a first for the designer.) But what I loved most about Benz’s take on Resort 2012 was his ability to let go. Despite New York’s current penchant for acid green, the King of Color has moved on, incorporating even fresher-looking mustard, tangerine, and periwinkle.
**All photos courtesy of Chris Benz.
Acne creative director Jonny Johansson is unabashed about his love for New York City. “My partner is from here, my child was baptized here…the dream is to be in New York,” the designer told us at his first-ever US presentation, which took place last week at a warehouse near the Westside Highway.
But will he, mascot of Stockholm, move here himself? “No, but my business partner is moving here. We want to show you guys what we can do.”
When I was a kid, I had a book of old Hawaiian surfing stories with a 50’s-postcard style cover showing a bronzed surfer girl riding a wooden board, the flower in her flowing black hair matching her bright bikini. Being from a small beach town and having caught a few waves myself, I was totally obsessed with that image; I wanted to be perpetually tan and frolic through palm trees and make dresses out of hibiscus blossoms.
Obviously, things turned out a bit differently, and I’m left to sip coconut water in a park. But just as the heat descended upon the city and I began to lament the lack of fresh ocean air, Suno delivered a much needed dose of that Polynesian brilliance for resort 2012. Their prints are always fantastic and this resort collection didn’t disappoint; it pays homage to those same postcard-esque fronds, fruit and florals in a splashy ensemble that avoids the garish, bad-tourist-shirt vibe one often associates with tropical prints.
Through the hallowed halls of The Lambs Club we went, off to see Gaby Basora’s latest Tucker offerings. The rich-with-faux-history space provided a surprising contrast when paired with her cheery clothes, leading us to think that Zoe Kravitz or some similar rock-star offspring was about to pop out from behind the racks. It’s this bohemian yet intelligently flirtatious vibe that’s found Basora a boatload of fans. Her signature off-kilter prints have paved the way for what’s becoming the Tucker lifestyle, and from the looks of her holiday line, shown yesterday, this is only the beginning. While simple in silhouette, Basora is a purveyor of what most cool women want–interestingly detailed clothes with the perfect amount of panache. Nary of pretension and full of personality, her holiday textiles are a quirky mix of oriental and Victorian references–perhaps alluding to the British conquest of Hong Kong during the era, a feat that Basora is similarly seeking to accomplish, albeit for fashion rather than opium. “It’s a very special point of view, our take on more fanciful fabrics,” she said of the collection’s gold-embroidered silks.
Sophie Theallet’s resort woman likes her suiting as she likes her sheets: made of fine silk, deliciously rumpled and falling off shoulders. For the 2012 collection, Theallet channeled that innate French girl ability to appear impeccably put together from the moment she hopped out of bed. She waves both her Parisian and American flags with the navy, crème and deep pink palette and sportswear sets that are tweaked just so; a baseball-jacket-style cardigan over tailored white shorts says U.S.A., while her French shines through in slouching jackets over trousers. There’s an especially wonderful red-trimmed white blazer that hints at a cool evening on a yacht, the topper to nothing but a bikini and a tan. The most gorgeous pieces are the down-to-there silk shirts, like half of a wrap dress that begs to be undone. There are a few short pleated frocks, some playful button downs in prints of orange and pink or navy and white–the resortwear staple–but the stand-out dresses are the longer gowns, slinky yet flattering. This is not a skintight bandage affair. A navy, one-shoulder sheath positively drips down the curves of the body, as does a raspberry silk number with shoulders peeking from small cut-outs in the short sleeves. This is a woman who can both take and bring the heat with equal nonchalance, producing equal amounts of desire and jealousy. Click through to view the collection.
The first thing you noticed was the set–a steaming hot high school gym in NoLita, and a stage filled with reaper-like mannequins dressed head-to-toe in safety orange–almost a life size diorama. “I wanted to do something site specific so that when you went in you were kind of transported to when you were younger,” Chloë Sevigny told us after the lights went down at her first-ever runway show for the collection she designs with Opening Ceremony. “There was an empty stage and I said, ‘We have to do some sort of tableau.’ My friend Charlie Wing is an artist who hasn’t showed yet in New York, and I’m so inspired by him. He loved the gator print. I just wanted something for people to look at.”
But besides the backdrop, there were clothes to see, and they were very cute.
One of the most swoon-worthy designer/muse relationships is the one shared by Sofia Coppola and Marc Jacobs. And while she was credited as an actual collaborator on the SC Louis Vuitton bag collection which was born in 2008, she’s been acknowledged as a muse for a long time by the designer and the house.
The role of muse, often a nebulous one, took on a more concrete form for Vuitton’s resort collection. Julie de Libran, Vuitton’s studio design director, was credited with the design of the resort collection; Marc Jacobs focuses more on the big shows (ie fall and spring) and gives his trusted design team a lot of independence. He told WWD, “It’s all my group, people I’ve chosen because of a shared aesthetic. They enjoy having some freedom to put [cruise] together, and they welcome my comments.” They also welcome his muses, because de Libran asked Coppola to assist with the collection.
These days, it feels like all the fashion girls want Monique Lhuillier to design their wedding gowns. And that all the starlets want Monique Lhuillier to design their red carpet dresses. Personally, we just want to buy something off the rack. The Los Angeles-based designer’s Resort 2012 collection seems to have something for everyone.
Kevork Kiledjian is all about the fit. “It’s the most important thing to me,” said the still-new designer, whose Fall 2011 collection made waves last February at Milk Gallery. With pieces as body con as these, fit’s got to be the priority. But this isn’t Herve Leger territory. Kiledjian, who was born in Paris, is very much influenced by the glam rock look of the late ’70s, early ’80s. (He loves Thierry Mugler.) Yet it’s safe to say Kiledjian’s look is much more grounded in minimalism than the body con pieces we’ve seen lately.