Historically, designers and big houses have been known to go big with their cruise collections, throwing giant extravaganzas in far-flung locations around the globe. Though some shows have moved on from entirely virtual setups, star-studded front rows remain a dream of the past. In the meantime, designers and their teams continue to innovate the show format—a testament to the power of creativity and ingenuity. Ahead, see all the looks that are having us count our lucky stars our airline status is extended for one more year.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
Kim Jones has steadily been doing the work at Fendi to establish a fresh set of design codes and it shows. The Roman luxury brand’s latest offering is filled with a well-balanced mix of plush outerwear and soft tailoring that showcases his effortless approach to elegance.The marbled prints from Jones’ spring 2021 couture debut are reinterpreted here in kaleidoscopic color and splattered across draped midi dresses, fuzzy knit coordinate sets, and fluid velvet trenches. It’s no easy feat to find one’s voice at a house that for more than 50 years was practically synonymous with a creative director as iconic as Karl Lagerfeld, but Jones offers a strong throughline with relaxed details like umbrella sleeves and gently oversized proportions. The Karligraphy monogram—Lagerfeld’s inverted double F logo reimagined in cursive script—appears on cropped knits and denier tights offering a tribute playful to the late designer. —Shelby Ying Hyde
Lucie and Luke Meier were all about a study in contrast. The husband-and-wife team considered how a garment takes up space and reacts to the body it encases, then picked apparent opposites and carefully stitched them together, creating the tangible results of a cloth-and-thread science experiment. Classic tailored pieces were pleasingly off-kilter with extended hemlines or additional coverage (like a saucer collar that covered up finely wrought lapels). Simply cut dresses became sculptural thanks to exaggerated shoulders or sprays of tassels; what should be sexy (lattice-cut fabric) read as aggressively not (due to swallow-you-whole silhouettes). As designer scientists, the Meiers were focusing on disproving the oldest of contrasts: that what’s beautiful cannot be livable. “Form and function can coexist,” the show notes read. “We can indulge our aesthetics and still be able to live our daily lives and do things.” It’s another example of one of these things being not like the other, yet pairing together for sublime synchrony. —Leah Melby Clinton
Literally and figuratively, Givenchy’s story has become one about an American in Paris. A framework we’ve been playing with for over half a century, this one is uniquely now in both character and setting. Matthew M. Williams is a millennial raised on California beaches, while today’s Paris is one whose magic touches more people than ever through our lusty sense of adventure and easy access to digital voyeurism. The merging of both viewpoints is a push-pull revealed in the mixture of soft textures and fluid fits with clunking hardware and sharp tailoring: It’s an American aesthetic with serious je ne sais quoi. Adding another dose of Cali-cool is the collaboration with Mexico-based artist Chito. Airbrushed graphics toy with past Givenchy icons—there’s an updated version of the fiercely fabulous Rottweiler for instance—while ensuring Williams leaves his own imprint on the storied house. —Leah Melby Clinton
All the focus was on the clothes at the seasonless collection Simon Porte Jacquemus presented after nearly a year’s absence. Gone was the gorgeous set, replaced by a solid blue background that read as starkly sterile compared to last spring’s softly undulating wheat field-cum-runway. It wasn’t a last-minute decision forced by circumstances beyond his control; rather, it was all about building a scape that couldn’t compete with the clothing itself. With nothing to distract us it was easy to be reminded how strong the label is, with lines, fabrics, and colors combining for the perfect punch. It’s all so sexy, even when it ought not to be (like oversized jackets that would fly open if not for a thin strap near the breast)—and still very much Instagram fodder. —Leah Melby Clinton
It’s fair to wonder if Ferragamo is using this season to rest and reset, examining the brand’s DNA and plucking out high-performing pieces to turn over and tinker with. It’s an in-between moment, with incoming CEO Marco Gobbetti not due to take the reins until the end of the year; the current collection was steered by an internal team following the blueprints left by Paul Andrew prior to his departure in April. That said, it hits the mark for refined, elevated sportswear that you’d happily have in heavy rotation. There are great leather jackets and gilets, slouchy sweaters, and skirts that are more watch than play (and upcycling, including a patchwork dress made of leather scraps). Designers often want to redefine everything, but this work proves a simple exercise in studying key definitions can be just as impactful. —Leah Melby Clinton
Travel! The cruise collections are all about it, but the irony hasn’t been lost on any of us that this is our first taste of jet-setting since early 2020—until now. Max Mara hosted one of the first post-lockdown fashion adventures, taking industry insiders and tastemakers to Italy’s most underrated destination, Ischia. Truman Capote’s Local Color was written after four months on the island, and speaks to “the golden age of travel,” and the need to truly spend time in a place to appreciate its culture, flavor, and energy. The collection served as the wardrobe for a woman summering on the Meditteranean coast, and seemed the perfect wardrobe for one of Capote’s ‘swans.’ But swans today are a bit more dynamic and complex than Capote’s; their lives aren’t all glossy and carefree. Designer Ian Griffiths tapped that nuance in his sporty silhouettes, wearable neutrals, carry-all bags, and effortless espadrilles. For those looking for a little more pop, a geranium-toned section offered a vibrancy that felt easy yet impulsive, just like a good trip should. —Carrie Goldberg
Imagine if La La Land was brought to life through the lens of an Archie comic strip, with a peppering of Grease and the gloss of Blair Waldorf’s Old Hollywood dream sequences—starring Karen Elson. There’s an old-school American diner; there’s a jukebox; there’s a choreographed dance number—there’s lots of bold color. Jeremy Scott never fails to merge his cinematic inspirations and flairs for the theatrical with his seasonal offerings, and resort 2022 was no different. Interspersed with a hot dog costume, a hamburger skirt suit, sunny-side-up brooches, and a suite of ice cream sundae cocktail dresses (yes, you read all that right) were color-blocked ’40s-esque day dresses, cinched waists, comic strip and movie poster prints, and dashing suiting in ROYGBIV pinstripes and sparkle for the guys and girls. While most designers have hinted to lockdown woes or our reemergence with their clothes throughout the past year, Scott prefers nostalgia and a tongue-in-cheek whimsy that makes us smile. This season was hopeful, optimistic, and all about dress-up, whether that be in costume, for the office, your first vacation post-lockdown, or cocktail hour. —Carrie Goldberg
Remember the days of destination resort shows in beautiful locations? Maria Grazia Chiuri took us away—virtually—for the Dior Cruise 2022 show staged at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. The ancient all-marble stadium has an illustrious history—built in 329 BC for the Panathenaic Games, which were held to honor the goddess Athena, it served as an Olympic venue in 1896 and 2004—but this was its first fashion show. As she has done for previous resort shows staged in Lecce, Italy and Marrakesh, Chiuri partnered with local artisans on the collection. She sent out modern day goddesses in one-shoulder Grecian gowns with handmade pleats, fluid white suiting, and sportswear pieces featuring illustrations of athletes depicted on Greek vases. Wearing with sporty sneakers, they did the stadium’s namesake proud.
The follow up to Balmain’s 75th anniversary celebration collection is an extensive, 60 look Resort offering that honors the codes of the house in nuanced ways, but is also quite personal to Olivier Rousteing. The creative director accompanied his collection with a letter. In it, he speaks to his personal journey immortalized in a Netflix documentary, calling himself, “the orphan adopted by the loving parents in Bordeaux, the passionate fan of the films, series and music of my youth, the designer devoted to the transformative power of couture, the vrai parisien—and, now, I have learned that I am also an African.” That multi-faceted persona and a larger look at Paris as a city and a culture, and interpreting what “The New French style” (immortalized by Pierre Balmain) means was the creative starting point.
“What Josephine Baker’s J’ai deuxamours made exquisitely clear 90 years ago remains true—this city will always offer a unique and inspiring home to those in search of new possibilities,” Rousteing says. And so that inclusive spirit finds its way to new riffs on the house’ marinière look, bold graphics, modern smoking jackets, military styles and, of course, the classic six-button blazer.
“The relaxed silhouette of my own daily uniform is reflected in this collection’s distinctive SoCal-meets-Ibiza vibe, pairing takes on Laurel Canyon ‘70s chic with the dolce farniente mood of lazy summers on Mediterranean isles,” the creative director explains. And so the man and the brand are perfectly co-mingled in one of the house’s coolest collections to date.
Vuitton left the city center to show its resort collection and headed to Cergy—not far from Paris, but a world away—to an architectural feat few outside France know about, called Axe Majeur. The enormous, artful complex-meets-dreamscape was created by the Israeli artist Dani Karavan and the Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill. It began construction in 1980 and took nearly 30 years to complete. It’s a sculpture where, according to a press release, “water, light, wind, sand, concrete, stone, and steel create a felicitous relationship between nature, space, and time.” It sounds truly magical. And the colorful, upbeat collection that walked upon it held a bit of magic as well. In pieces with marching band influences, color to spare, more than a few paillettes, and artful layering, models stomped through sections of the space, including the “Île Astronomique,” “Le Douze Colonnes,” and “Le Jardin des Droits de l’Homme,” finally ending in “La Passerelle.” And just the beginning of the journey for this optimistic collection.
Pre-spring is a celebration of “the pleasure of dressing up while remaining grounded in ease and effortlessness,” according to the brand. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez make clothes for cool girls who never want to look like they tried too hard. Mission accomplished for the season. Wrap shearling coats, knit separates (an ongoing theme from the designers that feels like a gift that keeps giving), and cutout easy-t0-wear dresses comprise a collection that feels like it could make for an entirely new wardrobe. Just add fuzzy slides and get ready to reemerge into the world.
Balenciaga delved into a concept that many of us have struggled with: What even is real anymore? In the show notes, the brand explains, “We no longer decipher between unedited and altered, genuine and counterfeit, tangible and conceptual, fact and fiction.” To illustrate that idea, Eliza Douglas, an artist who has either opened or closed every show and appeared in most campaigns for the past several years, was cast to wear every look in the collection. In a video directed by Quentin Deronzier, “Eliza appears as a series of digital clones, some of which are deepfakes, or models with Eliza’s photogrammetry-captured and CG-scanned face digitally grafted on,” the notes continue. It’s a trippy approach to confronting the questions that arise when we’re faced with a digital existence in which everything is Photoshopped and manipulated or subjected to a face-altering filter.
The collection showcases new shapes as well as products from The Hacker Project, conceptual interpretations of Gucci’s recognizable signatures as Balenciaga products. There’s a futurism at play, but the collection also honors the past and recent codes of the house—including a new take on the moto jacket. It’s a thinking woman’s approach to fashion, and a smart one at that.
“Our collection is a celebration of fantasy, conveying a renewed sense of hope, escape and, quite simply, what we want to wear when we can go out again,” Tory Burch explains. That notion translated to polka dots and leopard, a bit of lurex, taffeta pants, and silver ribbed cardigans alongside pink velvet jackets and more than one crinoline skirt. The shoes are more often than not ballerinas—perhaps as a way to ease the Tory girl back into the real world. The details are on full display here—needlepoint and contrasting buttons and paisley prints make for an uplifting re-entry point. These are capital L looks and they feel like a lot of fun.
For her second collection for the storied French house, Gabriela Hearst is not sleeping on making strides in sustainability. Some notable implementations include the use of lower-impact materials like organic silk (recycled cashmere or deadstock now make up 55% of the ready-to-wear line), 15% of the collection is being manufactured by WFTO fair trade-guaranteed members, Akanjo and Manos del Uruguay andMade51, an initiative created by the United Nations Refugee Agency, is providing embellishment on handbag designs.
“The fictitious but utterly delicious state of being in love,” says Hearst. “I couldn’t start this journey at Chloé without love being the emotion as a driver.” Hearst looked to pre-Raphaelite portraiture and all of its romantic notions for inspiration, but she also referenced a rather pragmatic moment in human history—the Arts and Crafts movement at the turn of the twentieth century which manifested as a response to the dehumanizing effects of the Industrial Revolution. Today she is looking to the negative impact of climate change and the digital revolution as mirrors to the past in hopes of a new renaissance of sorts. Sign us up in a beautifully designed trench—sustainably made, of course.
For its resort season, Coach is getting more to the point and calling it a “winter collection,” which showed in Shanghai. The runway presentation, chockfull of playful knits and great shearlings, showed alongside the most recent episode of “Coach TV.” The brand collaborated with Jennifer Lopez, Jeremy Lin, Yang Zi, Kōki, Xiao Wen Ju, Rickey Thompson, Ke Fan and Ding Nan, as well as writers Amber Schaefer and Yoni Lotan and directors Danielle Nemet Aphrodite and Jason Bergh.
“Our winter collection is inspired by a sense of adventure and our hopes for tomorrow,” creative director Stuart Vevers explains. “Building on and re-representing ideas from Fall, it debuts a more honest approach to seasonality whilst expressing my vision for winter, an ode to the attitude of a new generation in Shanghai.”
Thom Browne is taking to the skies for Resort—leveraging skyscapes of kites, hot air balloons, and hector-shaped clouds on its fetching skirt suits and tailored separates. It’s prep forever from Brown, with anoraks, blazers, pleated skirts, lace ups and loafers done up in a reserved palette of mostly gray, black, and white. But that doesn’t mean that that playful sensibility is lacking.
For Christopher John Rogers’ ‘008’ collection, the brand is cementing its house codes in a way that’s familiar to the label but amped up. “It’s not anything we’ve ever done, but it’s everything we’ve always done before,” the founder and creative director, of the namesake brand explained. After some serious soul searching, the label was able to narrow down what makes them distinctly CJR, and what required “fine tuning” in order to press on.
A prime example: taking its affinity of color to new heights. The lineup pushes beyond its signature standout palette by presenting its love of shades in a multifaceted way. In other words, more is more when it comes to every shade of the rainbow. Rogers also maintained his penchant for suiting, leaning into more tailored silhouettes, while still offering some of the free-flowing shapes his clients have come to love. Each look is styled with a pair of exclusive Christian Louboutin shoes. All the better to truly make an entrance. -Shelby Ying Hyde
Chanel Cruise showed to the sounds of French musical mainstays including Vanessa Paradis and Charlotte Casiraghi and newcomers like Angèle, inspired by none other than the French-est of the French, artist Jean Cocteau. This is Chanel, after all. The reference was quite obvious to creative director Virginie Viard. “Because Gabrielle Chanel was close to Cocteau, and I love the film Testament of Orpheus,” Viard explains. “In particular this magnificent scene: a man with a black horse’s head descends into the Carrières de Lumières, his silhouette cut out against the very white walls.” The show took place without the usual celeb contingent (though the likes of Margot Robbie and Ann Hsu sent love letters in their stead) at the Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-de-Provence. It is a collection of absolutes done up in all black and white, which isn’t to say it’s entirely restrained.
“Because the simplicity, the precision and the poetry of Cocteau’s film made me want to create a very clean collection,” Viard continues. There was room to play in this rather strict palette, with opening looks embracing more tailored attire—long dresses, tweedy suits—before forging full speed into some classic rock-and-roll nostalgia. “I wanted something quite rock. Lots of fringes, in leather, beads and sequins, T-shirts bearing the face of the model Lola Nicon.” A crochet cape gives some decidedly Stevie Nicks vibes, while the overall mood lives somewhere between the free spirited ’60s and straight-up punk. Pointed silver Mary Janes, little lace-ups, and booties complete the ensembles that feel created more for the city than the Riviera.