The assortment that Frida Giannini delivered for resort was proof-positive that there are indeed two sides to every story. To wit: Her sartorial love letter to the disco era. At times it drew from that tradition of languid American sportswear, made iconic by both Halston (on the Studio 54 dance floor) and Bill Blass (on the shoulders of Park Ave.'s Uptown set); at others it spoke to the spirit of those hedonistic babes flitting about on the other side of the pond in Celia Birtwell's gregarious prints, Biba's earthy-sensual frocks, and all form of Fiorucci's cheeky chic.
For his 2014 resort collection, Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa remained fascinated with putting a new spin on that modern minimalism, the style that's so synonymous with the Calvin Klein aesthetic. Fitting, as the designer has just collaborated with famed minimalist artist Ellsworth Kelly to reinterpret a color block dress the artist created in 1952. It seems Costa's work with Kelly has inspired this latest, distinctly cerebral (and stomach baring!) collection.
Last week, the fashion set made its way to Chelsea Piers to board the Freedom yacht for Opening Ceremony's resort preview--but not before taking off their shoes. It's a testament to designers Humberto Leon's and Carol Lim's enduring cool factor, that nary a complaint was heard as editors and It girls alike parted way with their precious footwear. But if the setting was steeped in American history (the Freedom is also sister to former presidential yacht, the U.S.S. Sequoia), the collection took its inspiration from an entirely different time and place. Leon and Lim explained they had modern-day Korea on the brain when designing the collection.
For her 2014 resort collection, Rachel Comey looked North for inspiration--just north of Manhattan, to be precise, to the Bronx Zoo where--accompanied by her son--Comey took print queues from the many four-legged creatures that call that historic New York site their home.
As we try to figure out what exactly resort is (vacation-wear? transitional pieces? introduction to the spring season?), one description that's beginning to feel apt, is that it's the season for wanderlust, where designers get to indulge all their travel fantasies. It felt particularly true for Carven's Guillaume Henry, whose mind wandered all the way to Mali in the '60s for resort inspiration.
For their 2014 resort collection for The Row Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were inspired by a picture of a fisherman. So they created a fisherman's jacket, that quintessential yellow rain slicker, but tailored it down and constructed it in the most supple canary yellow leather. It's hallmark The Row: to take a simple item like a fisherman's slicker and elevate it into high luxury.
With this year's CFDA Designer of the Year award landing on their mantle piece last week, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCullough of Proenza Schouler are the reigning princes of New York fashion. The duo's tastefully experimental collections have--season after season--garnered critical praise for their clarity of vision and elevation in execution. For Resort 2014 the duo offered up an unexpected and bold key piece: Get ready for a midi-length, knife-pleated half-circle skirt.
Donna Karan presented her resort collection on a very rainy morning earlier this week. The rain held up several important editors so Karan charmingly ad-libbed before the informal show. While resort may sound like a collection that's made for rich people who can afford to take glamorous vacations, Karan reminded us that it's actually the season that stays on the racks the longest. "So pieces of resort just kind of bleed into your wardrobe," Karan explained. With that in mind, Karan presented a sexy, long and lean collection fittingly called the "L Word" (no relation to the Showtime series).
For his second collection at Balenciaga, Alexander Wang was inspired by a vist to the archives of the Cristobal Balenciaga Museum in Getaria, Spain (Balenciaga's birth place). The resulting assortment is an examination and deconstruction of the sculptural couture shapes for which Balenciaga is known.
Even though Zac Posen had live models to showcase his resort collection the real "model moment" was in the look book featuring the inimitable Pat Cleveland and her daughter Anna.
Fans of Michael Kors know that he loves to find inspiration in the glamorous jet-set; one season he's in Morocco, the next Gstaad. These glossy fantasies of private jet travel inform his collections and ad campaigns alike, and this season was no exception.
For Resort '14 Moschino Cheap & Chic's design team turned the hands of time back to the summer of '67, taking inspiration from the distinctively West Coast, love-in vibe that emanated out of places like Berkley and Haight-Ashbury at the time.
Raf Simons veered confidently toward the retro-futuristic for Christian Dior's Resort 2014, in a subtle exploration of the chrome-inflected sleekness that epitomized mid-century automotives. It was no coincidence that his models walked in Monaco, home to one of France's most storied raceways.