Gaining the opportunity to sample and savor resort wear collections showcased in opulent destination locations around the globe, each collection serves as a communicator in channeling the very nature of resort wear’s utter extravagance and dreaminess to the luxury consumer, and the ensuing mass market. The resort wear stage is where everyone lets their imagination run wild, and conventional fall/winter, spring/summer collections are forgotten about as soon as the ephemera of the grandiose locations and striking pieces of the resort wear collections hit the runway.
This being said, as we reflect back on the resort season collections for 2018, a few stood out to me in particular. First off, Valentino’s usage of their old school Italian roots fused with hip hop influence, followed by Dior’s references to Georgia O’Keefe and Vicki Noble, creator of the motherpeace feminist tarot deck, and lastly Chanel’s homage to ancient Greece. Each of these works inarguably represent the pressing need of our time to relate to other cultures, to understand, hopefully under the most authentic conditions possible, how our cultures are alike more than they are different, while holding necessity to cherishing the aspects setting each of them apart. I strongly believe fashion is a platform for doing so, when executed correctly.
To begin with, Pierpaolo Piccioli drew inspiration for this particular collection from the Netflix show “The Get Down.” This collection took a distinct side step from Valentino’s more traditional fashion week representations and took to heart the zeitgeist of today’s climax in athleisure, paired with obvious street style references-notably the iconic Valentino heels with socks pairing, detailed embroidered bombers, and splashes color in jewel tone track suits. Fur clad athletic shoes, structured jackets with ornamental design detail with relaxed athletic flairs as well as classic ornate Valentino lace layerings and delicate designs all dotted this runway and made for a complete, reflective yet pointedly modern runway for Valentino.
Next, I have to state how completely enamored I was with Maria Grazia Chiuri’s representation of Georgia O’Keefe’s personal style, influence and her nod to feminist tarot culture. Chiuri brings this breath of fresh air to Dior in the sense that she creates a more humanist and humble approach to the brand, more than ever seen before. Although she harkens back to Dior’s archives, as many and most creative directors choose to do with brands that have such solidified DNA’s as Dior’s, she also recognizes how easily one can confine themselves in this process, and understands how important it is to bring one’s own personal touch. After separating from Pierpaolo Piccioli in their partnership as Valentino’s creative directors, she and him both, are faced with the challenge to represent their own voices within extremely iconic brands. This collection, for me, was completely dreamy, completely inspired, and completely encompassed all that I believe luxury consumers are looking for from a design and artistic standpoint with the logo’s incorporated in such a modern and fresh way, while the artistry of the fabric spoke for itself on beautifully tailored bodices and silhouettes.
The last designer, Karl Lagerfeld, drawing from Greek influence, poised the Paris based runway show with cracked pillars and olive trees in effort to amplify Coco Chanel’s own linkages to Greek history herself. Both an owner of a 1st century headless Venus that still rests in her paris apartment on Rue Cambon, as well as her contributions to famous costume designer Jean Cocteau’s reimagining of the ancient Greek tragedy Antigone in 1922, Chanel was an advocate for Greek style. Each of these pieces, ranging from highly brand specific boucle to looser, more relaxed garment structures, is represented beautifully. At certain points, the collection did stretch to overly literal representations for my own taste, but, needless to say, Lagerfeld executed pieces that were utterly stunning to balance it out.