Barbara Atkin, vice president, fashion direction at Holt Renfrew: “Resort used to be such an insignificant season that spoke to a small group of customers who were going away. Today, it’s the largest part of our spring business — almost 80 percent of our budgets go into that delivery. Alexander Wang’s athletic influences and T-shirts worked so well; we liked the photo and postcard prints at Stella McCartney, the new soft trench from Diane von Furstenberg and Chanel, and the new spring cape at Marc by Marc Jacobs and Zero + Maria Cornejo. We also loved Celine’s button-front shirts and pencil skirts, Givenchy’s activewear references and Donna Karan’s scuba-look pieces, and Phillip Lim brought out a new silhouette for new, loose pants.”

Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus senior vice president and fashion director: “Coming out of a challenged economy, designers have given great thought to what women want to wear. The clothes are ladylike, closer to the body and designers are really embracing color. Colored pants are everywhere in the market and everyone is doing a trench with trim. Feminine blouses with ruffles and lace are a continuation of dressed-up looks, and I liked the gymnasium sensibility.”

Stephanie Solomon, Bloomingdale’s vice president of fashion direction: “This was the best resort season I have seen in years. Prices were slightly up, but I see no price resistance — the looks warrant the prices. There’s been an explosion of color, and I’m not just talking citrus or Crayola brights. I’m talking neon brights, the likes of which we haven’t seen since 1984, when Stephen Sprouse was on the scene. There’s also a big print revival. What I love most is the changing of the status quo — the colors and prints on bottoms.”

Linda Fargo, senior vice president, fashion office and store presentation, Bergdorf Goodman: “The biggest news is exuberant color, the hotter the better. Trends that also ratchet up the happy factor include maritime, athletic and scuba, and great prints, especially abstracted Hawaiian florals, stripes, artistic and zebra. We liked softened, fuller volumes and new maxis. We’re excited about the prints at Givenchy and Stella McCartney, Michael Kors’ hot pink maxi dress, bright colors at Diane von Furstenberg, Naeem Khan’s embroidery, Proenza Schouler’s color blocking, Thakoon Addition and Derek Lam’s 10 Crosby.”

Miriam Lahage, general manager of fashion, eBay: “Primary colors ruled: lots of red, white, black and true blue. There was also a techno fabric/scuba-ish moment: Michael Kors, Alexander Wang and Balenciaga.…That trend has already hit eBay Fashion — we’ve seen so many searches for the scuba, body-con silhouette.”

Joseph Boitano, Saks Fifth Avenue group senior vice president and general merchandise manager: “Resort was a really terrific season. Designers really considered what the customer is looking for: feminine, flirty cocktail dresses and separates. They tried to understand how people dress at that time of year — in casual clothes that evoke a lifestyle with fun, emotional pieces.”

Jeffrey Kalinsky, executive vice president, designer merchandising, for Nordstrom: “Standout collections for me were Lanvin for gorgeous color, new silhouettes and exciting prints; Celine delivered a chic, modern approach to dressing, and there was a lot of newness at Valentino. We’ve been responding to prints, colorblocking and bohemian influences. The designers new to resort that had especially strong collections were Sophie Theallet, Joseph Altuzarra, Erdem and Vionnet.”

 

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