Welcome to the new, vastly improved world of resort. Not to jinx anything, but so far the CFDA’s attempt to condense the American collections, at least, is going well. Except for the fact that various constituencies can’t agree on what to call it, opting for either resort 2010 or 2011, the former clearly the more accurate handle since the clothes start to ship in October. That all should get on the same page is not a minor point, given the necessity of proper tagging for archival purposes.
Most American and some European designers are showing in New York within or around the June 7 through June 18 time frame suggested by the CFDA. And if last Friday’s full slate elicited the occasional requiem for the loss of summer hours by a few lucky types who typically partake of the perk, it also brought on a mini burst of show-going adrenaline that past resort seasons — you know, the ones that started in May and plodded toward August — sorely lacked. By next year, it’s reasonable to assume that New York resort will play like a complete, tightly scheduled collection season.
All involved should work to make this happen, in Europe as well as New York. Resort boasts the oft-cited distinction of being the most important season of the year, with the longest time on the selling floor — including the merch at full price for the holidays. Yet the season’s rapid ascent has far outpaced the way it’s been handled, at least from a press standpoint. Only over the past couple of years have magazines even started shooting it seriously, itself an accomplishment, given the difficulty of getting a creative thematic handle on — not to mention workable shoot dates for — a quite diverse season dribbled across eight weeks. At this publication, securing space for daily front page space (oh, those pesky Beauty Fridays and don’t even mention men’s wear) has sometimes felt about as appreciated as suggesting a spread for snapshots of a staff karaoke night.
Now, finally, everyone seems to be on board. It’s not surprising, then, to find many designers rethinking their manner of showing. Some have opted for formal runways and others, informal presentations, but with the kind of carefully edited run-of-show that transforms a once mundane retail delivery into a true collection.
None of which is to say that resort should turn into a third megaseason. No one wants that — at least not beyond those exciting, globe-trotting Chanel and Dior extravaganzas. From a practical standpoint, many smaller houses simply can’t afford a third major production. Keeping resort efforts to a smaller scale prevents such houses from feeling squeezed out.
Furthermore, what’s wonderful about the season’s developing approach is its intimacy. Though not as charming as back in Isaac Mizrahi’s “Spa” days, when his mom and then-business partner Sarah Haddad-Cheney served homemade Syrian rosewater pastries and iced tea, these shows feel friendly, presented to a tight industry audience sans bells, whistles, door frenzy and excessive editorial trickery, yetwith enoughpolish to carry the fashion moment. On Friday alone, the approach worked as well for Donna Karan as for Jason Wu, both of whom offered beautiful collections. Undistracted by the celebrity across the runway, the designers’ audiences kept eyes squarely where they should be, on the clothes, whether Donna’s elegant chain mail or Jason’s gamine chic.
Let’s hope that this time next year, more designers will show in a similar vein. But it all hinges on maintaining a certain temperance. So, should the cute cast of “Glee” meander in, tell them they’re early. Their booking is for September.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast