Preview: six hot designer resort collections
Colorblocking, playful prints and rich textures, especially leather and lace, all popular this summer and headed into fall, had their place in several collections previewed in New York over the past few weeks.
The Louis Vuitton resort collection harnesses the power of suggestion. There is very little skin shown, yet one just imagines a sultry, confident woman in the layered looks that come with the long silhouette. In a mini runway presentation, models teetered in chunky, super-high platform shoes in culottes, pajama tops, drop-waist dresses and sequin stripe rugby shirts. There are short swing coats and soft, belted blazers.
Herrera says she likes to do a little experimenting in her resort collection, especially with prints. "Fashion is sometimes starved for color and amusement, but not here." She created a fanciful print featuring abstract lovers and another one with bunnies. A lace print on gazar is a twist on a classic. "I love the printed lace. I am a bit tired of lace. This is light and graphic -- it's a new idea."
True to form, the resort collection is built on clean, architectural lines, but creative director Francisco Costa strategically inserts softer shapes -- and the occasional sexy cutout. The overall shape is long and languid, and colors, textures and prints often draw inspiration from nature, especially pythons and pebbles from the desert. The finale outfit, a sheer ivory T-shirt over an ivory silk skirt and bandeau, is destined for a tropical beach wedding.
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
The theme of this collection designed collaboratively by Diane von Furstenberg and Yvan Mispelaere is the American road trip. There are nods to Manhattan, Las Vegas and Memphis. An allover printed sequin skirt suit in lime green, white and black with a similarly patterned silk blouse underneath has the day-to-night vibe that von Furstenberg is famous for, and a robe-style romper in that same shade of green is the update of the label's wrap silhouette.
For this European luxury house, the idea of resort -- or cruise, as it is officially called by the house -- is, in fact, all about getting away from anything mundane. "An alluring escape to the island of Capri. A wind-swept style and exotic allusions," creative director Frida Giannini says in her notes. She takes the famous Flora pattern from the 1960s and '70s and blows it up into flowy daytime dresses with a white background. There's even a leather jacket embroidered with the signature floral design.
This season is the icing on the cake for Thakoon Panichgul, who creates a frothy, upbeat, pretty collection with floral touches and shades of sherbet on T-shirt dresses, blouson tops, dressy shorts and jumpsuits. Jumpsuits, Panichgul says, do particularly well with his customers. He thought of cupcakes a lot while designing, he says. "I only eat the cupcake cake, but it's the frosting that really inspired me and draws me in."