It's been said a thousand times: Resort is a season of big sales and increasingly significant fashion. It's also a season with a distinct element of play, one rooted in leisurely origins and often expressed via splashy prints. Of course, the requisite florals channel the tropics, but between bold abstracts and witty illustrations, the current crop is as diverse as it gets.
For example, a skirt bearing images of a sombrero, a mariachi player and folksy senoritas. "It's either love or hate," says Bryan Bradley of the vintage Mexican blanket he plucked from his grandmother's stash and reprinted for his Tuleh collection. "It's a little twisted, if you want to see it. It has slightly stereotypical overtones that crack me up, but it's a non-ironic idea about resort, like a souvenir that you would buy on vacation. I just think it's charming and funny and not too cynical or overintellectualized."
Bradley is not alone in this sentiment. His turista print skirt and raincoat emblazoned with little umbrellas are just two of the many literal (and kitschy) takes on the season of travel and beachy retreats that have popped up for resort. There were lawn chairs at Carolina Herrera and surfer prints at See by Chloé, while Frida Giannini's Pop Bamboo collection for Gucci featured starfish, sea horses, coral and a bamboo pattern play, which, says the designer, "immediately gives the idea of freshness and vacation." At Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs added color and pattern with "resort clichés" such as airplanes, helicopters, anchors and speedboats culled from vintage travel posters.
On the other side of the spectrum, large-scale graphics and artsy abstracts abounded in Thakoon's "sporty safari on acid" collection and at Stefano Pilati's Yves Saint Laurent, where Cy Twombly served as inspiration. Meanwhile, Jacobs worked on two very different vivid scales with graphics at Marc Jacobs and colorblocking at Marc by Marc Jacobs. "I like the opportunity at resort to get lots of color and pattern in, and to use prints that have the playfulness and spirit," Jacobs says. "They keep the fabric light and it seems a bit less conservative for resort. And they do always evoke the idea of not-work clothes."Ralph Lauren, too, had extracurriculars in mind for his colorful paisley frocks. "They're not serious, city clothes," says Lauren's Buffy Birrittella. "They're bare, flirty and playful."
But in a season that banks on commercial appeal, are such bold strokes too much? (Indeed, Yves Saint Laurent's splatter-paint print dress, recently worn by Demi Moore, has already appeared in Us Weekly's When Bad Clothes Happen to Good People pages.) According to retailers, it's just the opposite. "It becomes a very personal idea when a customer starts to put prints into her wardrobe," says Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing, who favored the season's bold geometrics.
"It's exciting; we're not just seeing sweet florals," adds Kirna Zabête's Sarah Easley, who notes that, from a retail standpoint, prints and color are vital to resort in terms of playing against the fall merchandise that's still on the sales floor when resort hits. "A lot of people who take Christmas and New Year's vacations are looking for color and light, something that's a reaction against the tailoring, and the navy, the gray, the black and the heavy layers of fall."
There was nothing saccharine about the bold florals at Versace, where Donatella Versace rendered an Irving Penn-inspired image of a calla lily with a graceful "X-ray" effect. "It's very difficult to do flower prints because they always look ultraromantic or too busy," Versace says. "I made it as graphic, clean and monochromatic as I could. And they make you feel lively, happy and very summery."
Bradley couldn't agree more. Resort's witty prints, he says, "make you smile."
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)