Resort/cruise 2020 report: Pre-spring fashion collections from Gucci, Armani, Chloé, and more
Whether you call the season cruise or resort, the fashion collection between fall and spring is a major business consideration. Pre-spring is generally seen as more commerical than the main seasons; furthermore, it has a longer in-store shelf life, making it a key sales-driver for brands. No wonder they've turned to splashy destination runways and uncharacteristically directional fashion, to drum up excitement among their well-heeled clientele. Below, our rundown of the best pre-spring collections from fashion's biggest players, including Gucci, Giorgio Armani and more.
Natacha Ramsay-Levi's Shanghainese outing for Chloé paid tribute to modern Chinese cinema, with some of its key stars sitting front row at the Long Museum runway venue. Patterns and textures from Chinese art and Chloé's own archives adorned an insouciant parade of runway characters, whose mysterious backstories the audience was invited to conjure for themselves.
Jeremy Scott was feeling all things ghoulish and gory this season, and ran with his inspirations with all the subtlety of a B-rate slasher movie. Doomed prom queens, King Kong's Ann Darrow (who hilariously had the primate's digits wrapped around her chest), and a host of other nightmarish names reportedly kept the audience on their — thoroughly entertained — toes at the Universal Studios Backlot.
In case you hadn't heard, Alessandro Michele used his cruise 2020 runway to take a pro-choice stance, namely through "My Body, My Choice" slogans, embroidered dates of landmark Italian laws concerning women's reproductive rights, and uterine embellishments (if you're tittering at this last item, grow up). Alessandro being Alessandro, however, this timely and important message split the limelight with the designer's typically diverse tastes, which included everything from Mickey Mouse to Greco-Roman drapery and preppy '70s tailoring; make of that scattered focus what you will.
At this point in his almost-five decade career, Giorgio Armani isn't looking to surprise; ever the consummate showman, the designer knows what his well-heeled clientele want and gives it to them. Cue hourglass pantsuits, red carpet-ready dresses and Italian sportswear, rendered most dramatically this season in a hot-cold palette of electric reds and blues.
The twin spectres of Marlene Dietrich and David Bowie (specifically during his '70s Berlin Trilogy phase) lingered over Max Mara's resort 2020 collection. Not that we're complaining. Since their respective passings, few others have made pantsuits look quite as edgy and chic. There was spiffy tailoring aplenty in a rainbow of pleasing earth tones, which looked right at home against the backdrop of Berlin's neoclassical Neues Museum.
This season, Maria Grazia Chiuri chose to tackle one of the thorniest issues of the age: cultural appropriation. She flew the fashion elite out to the ruins of Marrakech's El Badi palace, and sent out a collection of familiar Maria Grazia-isms interpreted by collaborators of African descent. Many of the looks were fabricated in wax prints designed by craftsmen from the Ivory Coast or textiles from Moroccan weavers; designers Grace Wales Bonner (of British-Jamaican descent), Martine Henry (of British-Ghanaian descent), Monsieur Pathé’O (from the Ivory Coast), and African-American artist Mickalene Thomas all contributed designs, making for a respectful blend of diverse cultures across the African continent.
Virginie Viard's first collection of Chanel's post-Lagerfeld era was light-filled and airy, much like the show's minimal Grand Palais set. Chanel's regular venue was decorated as an empty railway platform, with the building's Beaux-Arts architecture evoking the stations of old. It was an apt metaphor for the transitory phase the brand now finds itself in after Lagerfeld's swan song, fall/winter 2019's ski chalet extravaganza. The codes laid down by Viard's two predecessors were very much in evidence, but something new and exciting was in the air too; we'll be watching to see where the designer takes Chanel next.
Is 'peak Miuccia' already an expression? 'Cause it should be, and Prada's resort 2020 show in New York fit the bill very nicely. The designer's granny-chic flourishes for this outing included smocking, folkloric floral embroidery, large-scale appliqués, and lace faggoting on tiers of multicoloured satin. These deliberately fussy details were loosened up with flat boots, chunky socks, and loose, straight cut jackets and striped shirting, with the overall result of a quirky yet eminently wearable collection.
This cruise season, Nicolas Ghesquière had globalisation and aviation on his mind, leading him to mount Louis Vuitton's latest show at JFK International Airport. Sharp, graphic lines, sculpted forms, and metallic details echoed the airport's '60s architectural style — which coincided with the golden age of commercial air travel — and contributed to the collection's slick sense of speed and industry.
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