Resort season is one of the most overlooked seasons in the fashion world. While fashion lovers around the world pine for spring, pre-fall, and fall collections, resort seems to fall behind in the eyes of the fashion community year in and year out. Luckily, this season, it seems that designers around the globe were bitten by a creative bug and produced some of the most successful and innovative resort collections to date. And the best thing about fresh and innovative design is that it pushes new trends forward, giving fashion aficionados around the world new inspiration that breathes life into their cold weather wardrobes.
The Printed Knee-High
Now, to some (I’m talking to you private and Catholic school girls), knee-high socks are the bane of humanity. They’re fussy, tend to always fall or roll down. and generally come in either black, navy, grey, or whatever ridiculous hue of maroon or mustard your school colours were. But don’t dismiss this posh staple just yet. This season’s knee-high stocking was more than just an accessory. Unlike their academic sisters, the knee-highs at high fashion houses Prada, Thom Browne, and Gucci came in printed patterns and interesting hues. Marrying the traditional sock with blogger-it-girl street style, they transformed the good old scholastic knee-high sock into one of the most in-demand accessories of the season.
Shades of (Navy) Blue
Resort and cruise collections are created with the sole purpose of giving high-fashion clientele luxurious options for their jet-set vacations. Instead of throwing on a gauzy sarong, resort collections offer up the option of opting for luxe ensembles made especially for the warm summer months, the yacht, or the country estate. And it seems as if the designers visited the same luxurious and exotic locations as their clients when they designed their collections. No colour seems to have popped up during resort season more than deep ocean blue and nowhere else was it used better than at Pringle of Scotland, Delpozo, and Versace. Rich and luxurious shades of indigo and navy dominated the design landscape, creating daydreams of the deep blue oceans that surround the world’s most heavenly rivieras.
Mix and Match Rock & Roll
Back in the days before rock music began influencing fashion, one could be called out or even ousted from social circles if they chose to sport a particular rock clique attire for the sake of style. It was a rock & roll travesty to merely wear a studded leather jacket for the sake of looking punk or a Slayer t-shirt because you wanted to look like a metalhead. Fast forward a few decades and the walls of music (and fashion) have come down. It’s no longer a sin to want to mix and match styles from the various eras and genres of rock music around the world. Designers took that notion into full account this season. At Mugler, I’M Isola Marras, and Acne Studio, rock saw its various style meshed with one another to create a perfect cacophony of textures, layers, and colours. Punk mesh was mixed with grungy florals, while oversized blazers were paired with pop rock hoodies and eyeliner, and goth trenches were paired with clean Bowie-esque slacks, giving a new look to the traditional rock ensemble.
Green With Envy
Emerald, pea green, evergreen, mint, lime, avocado: It doesn’t matter what your favourite colour of green is because you don’t have to choose this season. From the look of it, green seems to be the next big trend in colour right after navy blue. At Vivetta, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, and Vionnet, green played a vital role and added a fresh and crisp summer look to many of the garments in the collections. Taking the designers’ resort wear from regular vacation attire to bright and exotic à la Jennifer Lopez at the Grammy’s in Versace. And what woman wouldn’t want to have her own JLo moment?
Rock & Roll Florals
Resort 2018 seemed to be the season of turning tradition on its head. At Badgley Mischka, Preen by Thorton Bergazzi, and MSGM, florals were placed front and centre. But these weren’t your average florals. This season’s floral called for something a little out of the box. Instead of having the same old soft and summery pastel florals, the designers opted for prints that brought a little edge into the mix. Dark background colours added to the pops of crimson, teal, and gold that wound around one another to create florals that were a little more ’80s glam rock than garden party pristine. Making these prints the perfect mould breaker for a fashion lover who wants to go somewhere a little darker and a little harder with their pretty petaled prints.
Once New York and London wrap up their fashion weeks, the list of new names and talent seem to get smaller and smaller. This isn’t because there is a lack of up and coming talent in Milan and Paris, rather, this simply stems from the fact that both these European fashion powerhouse cities have had long histories in focusing on the big players in fashion. Milan and Paris have always been the canvases where the biggest names in fashion showcase their creative ideas. This creates extremely high expectations for newcomers. They’re are faced with not only breaking into two of the biggest fashion scenes in the world, but they also must compete with the biggest fashion dynasties in the world. This ultimately leads to smaller brands either being pushed out of the spots they’ve earned or they simply just fade into obscurity. This makes it a little bit difficult to discover and start conversations about new designers. Yet some lesser known designers are able to fight their way to the top and shine right alongside some of their biggest names in fashion, and that’s something to be excited about. Seeing the new bloom alongside the old. Here are some of the best collections presented at Milan Fashion Week.
Alessandro Michele has done what many designers have failed to do throughout their respective careers. Alessandro has turned a brand that was on the verge of becoming culturally irrelevant, and brought it back from the brink of death. As Gucci’s current saint and saviour, Alessandro has been pumping out a slew of successful collections and accessories that have allowed the brand to do a complete 180 in both sales and style. This change has catapulted Alessandro and Gucci to the top of the must-have list among fashion aficionados around the world. Gucci’s current claim to fame is thrusting the magpie – vagabond prince and princess look onto the fashion scene. Alessandro’s quirky take on mix and match clothing has been an industry leader in creating new trends that have influenced today’s top designers as well as top retailers like Forever 21 and H&M. For his latest show at Gucci, Michele took his usual 70’s vagabond look and infused a hint of 80’s glamour and 90’s grunge to create a hodge podge of style excess that somehow manages to break every rule in the fashion book while still looking like the most tasteful and fashion forward collection Milan has to offer. His stunning use of silks and heavy fabrics to create a mismatched wardrobe that contradicts itself every step of the way, while magically complementing itself, is a testament to how well Alessandro knows how to make clothes. Michele has also incorporated some of fashion’s hottest trends into his collection by making them his own, especially the broad shoulder, floral embroidery, poetic ruffles, and statement prints. Another wonderful aspects to Michele’s show are how wearable everything is. If picked apart, the majority of these pieces can be worn without the help of Gucci’s signature styling; they’re stand alone pieces that don’t need an entire singular look to make sense, they just do.
Now, it can be a real challenge when it comes to picking key pieces from Gucci’s SS2017 collection, since each outfit is outstanding in its own right. However, a few pieces did manage to stand out among the crowd. Top scores go to a beautiful translucent flower print dress and matching cape, a gold 70’s cut tuxedo with floral embroidery, a broad shouldered denim tuxedo suit, a tiered sleeve gown in beige chiffon, and a cream cropped leg pant suit that sports a flamingo pink trim; to name a few.
Giambattista Valli has quickly become one of the new kings of haute couture, with seasonal couture collections that stun and transport their viewer to a world of opulence, elegance, and… ruffles! Giambattista’s rise to popularity has led to his designs becoming more in demand than before. However, not everyone can afford a $30 000 gown, even on their best days. This led Valli to create a splinter line for the “everyday” woman who’d like to experience what it’s like to wear one of Valli’s creations for themselves. Fast forward to the birth of Giamba, a brand dedicated to supplying young, well-to-do women with clothing that screams raw innocence and youth, while still remaining luxurious and high fashion. This season, Valli created a wonderland of 70’s western inspiration. All of today’s biggest go-to trends were there. Sheer, ruffles, embroidery, denim, and Victorian influences were all evident in the collection, which does exactly what it’s supposed to. Sell high fashion trends to young women who want feel fresh, on trend, and expensive. The collection doesn’t deviate much from its predecessors, keeping its fun and flirty baby doll centric designs front and center, but it still manages to press forward in terms of style and trend. What it comes down to is Giambattista’s ability to create a collection for Giamba that is completely different from what he’s done at his namesake ready-to-wear house and couture house. This versatility allows him to stay relevant and in demand in today’s “fast fashion” world. This is also what keeps Giamba relevant. No matter how much fashion changes, Giamba can still hang on to a trend like no one’s business, while still holding on to its personal aesthetic beautifully.
Like Gucci, Giamba’s collection is completely wearable, regardless of your personal style. Each outfit can be worn as a stand alone piece or be integrated into an outfit without taking away from the garment’s beauty. Key pieces in the collection include a sheer knit dress in white with ruffled bib and pie crust collar, a tart yellow mini dress with rose appliques and crop-top printed with a picture of the dessert worn overtop, a flouncy blush pink mini dress adorned with fan pleats and floral applique, a beautiful pair of printed flared leg trousers combined with a blush pink embroidered bomber jacket, and long sleeved romper covered in champagne pink sequins topped off with an embroidered denim vest worn overtop.
Au Jour Le Jour
Don’t be fooled, this brand may have a french name but designers Mirko Fontana and Diego Marquez have made Au Jour Le Jour an Italian staple in only 2 years! The brand is known for its somewhat outlandish take on fashion, but that’s the beauty of it. Au Jour Le Jour doesn’t try to be something it isn’t. It’s outlandish fashion for outlandish people. It’s fashion created for all the eccentrics out there who aren’t afraid to wear something that may be deemed tacky to others. This season, Au Jour Le Jour created a ruffle and sequin paradise. A feast of excess for the eyes. The jarring florals, the stark whites, metallic sequins, bold citrus colours, gingham, and deep blacks all come colliding toward one another in the most glorious cacophony of colour and texture. Now this collection may not be a hit in everyone’s book, but if one looks closely and pulls apart the collection, they’ll find that every piece in the collection is beautifully wearable. Even if the styling and pairing of the garments may seem completely ludicrous, if worn individually, the collection takes on a simple and elegant persona that it otherwise wouldn’t have if worn straight off of the runway. Another wonderful trick designers Mirko and Diego have up their sleeves this season is the understanding of this year’s trends. The collection boasts some of the smartest and most tasteful uses of Victorian-influenced silhouettes and urban sportswear we’ve seen throughout fashion month. The layering is also sneakingly on trend, but it isn’t the first thing you’d notice when looking at this collection.
Through all of its loud colour and boisterous styling, Au Jour Le Jour is another collection at MFW that somehow manages to create outfits that are absolutely perfect the way they are and absolutely perfect when pulled apart. Standout looks in the collection are a ruffled sleeve gingham mini dress, a floral patterned shirt dress worn with a lemon yellow skirt underneath, a spaghetti strap floral blouse worn atop a white button down shirt and ombre green sequined skirt, a light-as-air bell sleeve mini with floral embroidery, a denim spaghetti strap dress worn over an oversized white crew neck and black maxi skirt, and a wonderfully catastrophic red windbreaker worn over a mustard yellow and bubblegum pink shirt dress.
Who said you couldn’t mix Hansel and Gretel, Sailor Jerry, beatnik poets, and the Sugar Plum Fairy into one collection? This season, Vivetta Ponti created a collection that mixes some of the most unusual inspirations with this year’s fashion trends. On one hand we saw the delicate innocence of fairytale embroidery on almost every outfit (a la Hansel and Gretel) while on the other we saw nautical influences via the sailor caps, the simple and sweet silhouette of 50’s and 60’s poetess, topped off with sugary pastels and light as air ruffles that would make any prima ballerina jealous. Now most designers wouldn’t dream of basing their collections off of so many themes, but Ponti doesn’t seem to mind. Her effortless silhouettes make the models look right at home in her outfits. The additions of modern touches, like leather jackets and cutouts ground the entire collection, making it relevant to what a modern fashion forward woman would want.
Unlike some of the other collections on the list, Vivetta does have a few outfits that would probably be better off left as a conversation piece rather than an outfit, but the majority of the collection does have a strong level of wearability. The overall best looks from the show were a see through white frock adorned with floral applique and topped off with a beautifully embroidered black leather motorcycle jacket, a ¾ length – bell sleeved mini dress in floral pink, a dainty black slip dress worn over a white shirt, a pair of lime green culottes paired with a forest green leather jacket, and an embroidered red leather jacket worn over a white pie crust collar shirt and powder blue midi skirt.
If someone told you panniers would come back into fashion, would you believe them? This season at Marni, Consuelo Castiglioni created an interesting statement. Consuelo added oversized pockets onto a variety of garments for her ss2017 collection. This created a silhouette that puffed out at the sides, almost like modern day panniers. However, unlike their useless predecessors, Castiglioni’s pockets create a stylistic rhythm that works well with the utilitarian theme of the collection. The transition from stark white to black creates an aesthetically pleasing flow that allows the viewer to see the collection transition from one idea to another. Marni has always been at the forefront of contemporary Italian design, but recently Consuelo has taken her brand far beyond what many of her peers in the fashion industry are doing. Rather than creating her own personal spin on a trend, Consuelo is now able to conjure up her own. Her collections at Marni are the stepping stones for things to come in contemporary and minimalist fashion. Her use of volume creates a silhouette that hasn’t been seen on the runway as of yet (or at least in a very long time) However, Castiglioni doesn’t rely solely on her strangely alluring pockets to create a standout collection. The entirety of the collection presents a sense of understated and militaristic glamour. There isn’t any need to add jarring colour combinations or excessive add-ons in design. Consuelo understands what her collection is, she understands what her client wants. She understands that any more than what’s already been done would be a waste in her clientele’s eyes and anything less would be a gross injustice to her loyal audience. One of the most interesting aspects of the collection is how effortless everything appeared to be. It didn’t matter if a coat had elongated sleeves or pannier pockets, or if a knit dress had a knot of fabric at the waist. Every outfit seemed to carry the same weight as the last. Nothing felt suffocating or overpowering. And it was this strange sense of lightness that helped tie the entire collection together. However, Castiglioni’s collection was the only collection on this list that would be difficult to wear if pulled apart. And that isn’t because the pieces are unattractive to look at when separated. It merely comes down to the fact that everything was designed to fit perfectly into one another. Each piece was carefully designed to complement one another and create a unified story. But that doesn’t mean the collection can’t be mix and matched or paired with pieces from another brand’s collection. It just means a little more thought has to be put in when wearing Marni’s designs; you can’t just throw them on and run out of the door. There’s a science to what Castiglioni does.
Marni had many glorious moments for its spring 2017 collection. Many of the looks and silhouettes are definitely going to be seen in collections to come from other designers for fall. Apart from the success of the collection as a whole, the best looks on the Marni runway had to be a white coat dress with exaggerated side pockets worn over a pair of white trousers, a cherry red jacket with exaggerated side pockets worn over a matching skirt, a patterned knit dress in khaki, red, and white, a black and white striped coat dress with oversized pockets, and a printed long sleeve dress in hues of brown, black, white, and coral.