Cruisin’ Around the World

June 25th, 2016  |  Published in June 2016

It’s that time of year again when luxury brands showcase their Resort 2017 collections. In what is now a tradition for these lines, many luxury brands travel abroad to present their pieces in exotic locations. The locale often inspires the collection itself and, for fashion observers, gives the opportunity to learn more about the story (fashion or otherwise) of a given place.

With so many collections to look at, let’s begin with… London.


Locale: London

In London proper, luxury brand Gucci showcased their Resort 2017 wares to great fanfare. In stark contrast to Dior’s outing below, designer Alessandro Michele showed a very strong collection that was a beautiful next step in the story of the brand.

It’s been said before, but should definitely be said again that the new Gucci woman that Michele has introduced in the past few years is fresh, quirky, sexy in her own way. The way he interprets the brand and its eponymous woman has revitalized the brand immeasurably.

For this collection, London’s varied inspirational history was at the forefront. We saw obvious references to British tradition (hello Union Jacks, English roses, and head-to-toe tartan ball gowns) and some less obvious with denim stone-washed from the punk era and a bit of 1980s power-woman. Overall though, the pieces showcased the new Gucci woman with her boldly colored prints, mixing of fresh style with what your grandmother would wear (in a good way), and the quirk sense of beauty Gucci has come to define. 


Locale: London

Lovely is the word to describe the setting of Dior’s Resort 2017 collection. In a reference to Dior past, this year’s collection was presented at Blenheim Palace. The ancestral home of the Duke of Marlborough is situated in the English countryside about an hour away from London and it has previously served as the location for two earlier Dior shows in the 1950s.

Everything about the scenery and the look of the show was pure Dior. The brand introduced a pop-up pub in London the evening before the show, shuttled guests the next day to the show via train, and guests watched the festivities among the hallowed scenery of Blenheim. It was all lovely. And so was the collection: lovely. Just lovely. Full stop.

The brand currently is without a Creative Director after the departure of Raf Simons and unfortunately it has yet to re-capture its magic without a definitive force at the helm. Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux are creating beautiful pieces in line with the Dior aesthetic, especially their tailored coats and fun approach to daytime prints. But overall, the collection seemed to be more about the regality of the location and excitement of Dior’s new boutique in London.


Locale – Los Angeles

With a long flight and a hop over the pond, let’s look at the Moschino show set in Los Angeles. The new show for the Italian brand, helmed by creative genius Jeremy Scott, was a joint venture with both the brand’s Resort and Menswear collections being introduced at once. Scott’s inspiration for these collections was the 1960s. This was the time when Los Angeles hit its cultural peak, explained Scott, and so the pieces were straight out of the swingin’ sixties.

Psychedelic doesn’t even begin to describe the level of prints shown on the runway. The kaleidoscope of images was stepped up a notch thanks to Scott’s innate ability to infuse a of jolt of color and energy into everything he creates. In a mix of pants, dresses, suits, speedos, the list goes on and on, the pieces were alive in prints. Occasionally they even seemed to jump decades with a few reminiscent of 1990s MTV graffiti style and others of Moschino’s recent collections (leopard and dalmation specifically).

Among the parade of prints, a highlight of the collection was the patchwork of knit shown in full-on dresses and smaller details like handbags. It was welcome to see the level of detail in what most would consider a very big show.


Locale: Cuba

Only Karl Lagerfeld. Only he would be able to pull off an outdoor ode to Cuba’s culture right at the time American and Cuban relations are beginning to warm. No, Mr. Lagerfeld is not American. But as a citizen of the world, he is most certainly aware and the timing of his runway show can’t be a coincidence.

And to his credit, the staging of his new Chanel collection along the Paseo del Prado was a triumph in showcasing a beautiful line for the brand and, undoubtedly, opening American’s eyes to a culture we haven’t seen much of in the past 50 years. Lagerfeld married the worlds of France and Cuba in a myriad of ways. A special highlight was the performance of Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz, French-Cuban sister-singers who opened the show.

The pieces presented were very Chanel, but on a much more casual scale. They were not grandiose or unattainable, but perfectly attuned for resortwear anywhere in the world. Among the standard monochrome were distressed denim, pastel-shaded floating blouses and skirts, and even a few Safari-inspired looks of khaki and green. To top of the collection, most of the pieces were worn with berets or fedoras.

A tip of the hat to Mr. Lagerfeld for an inspired collection that showcased the best of the French Riviera with accents of the beautiful Cuban culture.

Louis Vuitton

Locale – Rio de Janeiro

For the final stop on our Resort 2017 journey, we look at Rio de Janeiro. The future home of our next Summer Olympic Games, Rio also served as the location for Louis Vuitton’s resort collection runway show.

With an obvious theme in hand, it came as no surprise that designer Nicolas Ghesquière showcased a collection where sportswear was the name of the game. As audience members took in the majesty of Rio’s Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, the pieces that came down the runway could easily be found in an Olympic event, if Olympic gear was made by the world’s most luxurious brands. Side note: many luxury fashion designers do design Olympic team uniforms. For Rio 2016 specifically, Stella McCartney will be partnering with Adidas to design gear for Team GB.

But back to Louis Vuitton: The pieces were casual in nature with extremely intricate origami-like designs. The designer said that he wanted to bring a bit of Paris with him to Rio. Which he certainly did with an air of timeless elegance that informed the pieces. Yes, they were sporty. But sporty in the most luxurious of ways.

– Jenny Perusek is a freelance Brand Manager, specializing in fashion and the creative arts.

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