“Normally we’d do physical research, which we were still able to do in terms of vintage and archive, but we discovered a resource: the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. They decided to, in 2020, make everything digital. So we went and basically did all our research in there; it was amazing wandering through,” Merlette designer Marina Cortbawi explained during her resort collection walkthrough.
As a result, every inspiration for the collection stemmed from one singular place, which was new for Cortbawi. The paintings of Ger Gerrits influenced palette and mood, batik prints literally translated to the season’s newest motif, intricate and Victorian fashions lightly guided silhouettes, patterns and garment details.
The look: Resort emulated the brand’s ethos of thoughtfully designed garments with excellent hand-feel, artisanal, subtle details and feminine style with a slightly younger, but still modern feel.
Quote of note: “What was great about the Rijks is that we could do secondary research, which is fashion. Primary research for us is art, film — anything non-fashion.”
Key pieces: Dresses galore — airy, cotton and polyester babydolls (great in light peach); patchworked, tiered, cotton voile dresses; eyelet caftans and roomy, cotton poplin boat neck dresses. Also, an allover floral embroidered tonal white skirt and updated familiar silhouettes in new fabrications or with new, intriguing handwork, like a soutache embroidered frock, updated smocked and tiered separates, and bright voluminous minidresses.
The takeaway: A fusion of resort’s inspirations, an abundance of new fabrications (ranging from cotton chambray and cotton voile to cotton poplin and cotton eyelet) and intricate handwork with Merlette’s consistent voluminous, elegant and slightly romantic elan made for a fresh, versatile collection.