Donatella Versace has cruised into a new adventure. The designer has introduced a 60-piece cruise collection to round out the brand’s offerings. Inspired by a tropical vacation — a luxe life on and off the deck — the collection is highlighted by prints with motifs such as orchids, shells and jungle patterns in acid yellow, lime green, fuchsia and turquoise.

“I have always been inspired by the sun, the sea and holidays in the tropics,” says Versace. “This collection gives you a unique piece for every holiday occasion and I had fun creating the prints, which are so Versace.” The result was everything from bikinis and shrunken hoodies to snug blouses to evening numbers. Silk georgette, cotton satin and poplin, all of them with stretch, with denim or silk jersey, were the fabrics. And where the clothes end, the accessories start, as evidenced by woven canvas or tropical-printed cotton bags and festive platforms, sandals, sneakers and high strappy shoes for evening.

But a reservation at a luxurious and exotic beach resort isn’t the only access code to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s pretty and feminine cruise collection for Dolce & Gabbana. “We like to coddle our more social customers with a constant flow of new looks that allows them to wear something new, regardless of where they are headed,” says Stefano Gabbana.

In other words, if your agenda entails floating from your child’s birthday extravaganza to a cocktail party and to a classy charity ball, there’s no going wrong here. While taming the sizzle, the duo upped the propriety quotient and experimented with new volumes, via silk taffeta, a fabric they had put on the back burner for a while.

The duo primarily used it for flounce-‘n-flare dresses and pouf skirts, which get a modern spin thanks to bold gold metal jewelry, sexy python stiletto sandals and plenty of trims and sequins.

Meanwhile, when Alessandro Dell’Acqua worked on his cruise collection, he had a young Jeanne Moreau in mind. From the perfect black lace cocktail dress to steamy cropped pants over a breezy silk blouse, the collection is driven by versatile separates and offers something for everyone. “The spirit is vaguely couture and the concept of lightness is pushed to extremes,” says Dell’Acqua. Throughout, the designer worked a black-and-white palette lit up with bursts of dusty pastels.

This story first appeared in the June 1, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Elsewhere, Donna Karan is going for the gold, silver and bronze this season, and these metallic hues, in fact, are the highlights of her DKNY line. Playing with volume is also key to the collection, whether it be with a full skirt or a billowing top, but the interpretation this time is cleaner and simpler. “DKNY Resort is about brilliant texture, light-reflecting shine and a soft, new feminized glamour,” Karan says. Never one to turn from embellishment, the designer opted for matte sequin and tonal beading for decoration this season.

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