This week marks one year since Marina Cortbawi launched Merlette as an answer to effortless destination dressing for women the world over. Her line encapsulates a perennial sunny disposition and escapist spirit that lends itself to traditional resortwear. But it works year-round, leaning on design codes like volume, smocking and lightweight fabrications for trans-seasonal pieces that flatter women of any size. It’s no wonder Moda Operandi and nearly 50 stores in Japan have already opted into it.
“It’s something for feeling light right now and making people happy,” Cortbawi said during a walk-through. “It’s important right now in the world. An escapist mentality in a way is needed right now.”
No doubt the newly introduced golden-yellow and poppy magenta hues exude a free-spirited quality. Collection 3, which delivers as resort, continued on the same easy aesthetic, finished with elevated details to make them evening appropriate as well. There were button cuffs at the end of big balloon sleeves with pleated details, hand-smocked florals on easy blouses and a long eyelet gown for day or night. The designer worked with Italian mills to develop a tumbled cotton that she cut into skirts with a bit of stretch and raw edges that get crazier over time. Another full, lightweight skirt fastened only with a wrap tie to make it size-inclusive. To really align with a holiday mentality, each piece was named after a cocktail, like the “Mai Tai” top with raw edges, or the “Manhattan” dress with balloon sleeves.
See More From the 2018 Resort Collections:
Sandy Liang Resort 2018: The overall tone was noticeably quieter, more relaxed, but retained that playful dose of subversion to keep things modern.
Brock Collection Resort 2018: Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock brought fairytale romance into modern reality.
Pamella Roland Resort 2018: Pamella Roland’s starting point for her newest collection took place in her own backyard.
Redemption Resort 2018: The inspiration for the collection is “aristocratic grunge.”
Rodebjer Resort 2018: The designer offered up a lot of layers to transition from party to street, strict to mildly wild.
Sonia Rykiel Resort 2018: The Sonia Rykiel girl took a trip to California and returned to Paris refreshed.