Designer Tara Subkoff eschewed the typical presentation format to showcase the Resort 2012 collection of her label, Imitation, and instead directed a short film, which she screened at the Jane Hotel to a crowd that included (deep breath) Bliss Lau, Chrissie Miller, Cory Kennedy, Darren Aronofsky, Jen Brill, Jessica Craig Martin, Kai Kuhn, Mark Ruffalo, Sky Ferreira, Karen Elson, Natasha Lyonne, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Waris Ahluwalia, Sunrise Coigney, Will Cotton, Mia Morretti, Liev Schrieber and more.
The film itself featured some of NYC's hottest It girls (Becka Diamond, Lissy Trullie) and starred model Nicole Trunfio, who spent her onscreen time wandering around the city on the day of her 21st birthday, bummed out because her friends were nowhere to be found. She looked seriously fabulous, though, in her Imitation Resort wear (of course), and after meandering down lonely streets, getting shunned at a Chinese restaurant because of her solo status and playing dress-up in her sunlit room (cue Imitation Resort montage), our heroine heads out for a drink and stumbles upon all her friends—and the party they've been planning for her all day (Surprise!).
The film ends with the birthday girl's female partner getting down on bended knee to propose (awww), and the two welcome her 21st with a heartfelt kiss. The sentiment, like the Imitation styles showcased, is sweet, romantic and very celebratory.
As it should be. Subkoff's film aired just days after New York State (finally) enacted the Marriage Equality Act, so the film—and the cheerful goodwill at the designer/director's premiere party—felt very timely, indeed.
The Designer: Victoria Bartlett The Look: Resort played like a VPL "best of" collection, with the designer's signature motifs—a winningly tense play on masculine/feminine, edgy/elegant, lingerie/sportswear—on display. Split-knee leggings were both sporty and subversive. A beige tank dress looks classic on top, but look again: the bottom half is a sheer mesh twin of the upper, complete with bondage-esque arm holes grazing the wearer's calves. Bartlett employed drapery to great effect on a one-shoulder trompe-l'oeil cocktail frock. Sweaters are sheer to allow for a glimpse at the bra (or lack thereof) beneath. And a two-tone wrap-front dress is cut low to reveal a sensuous swath of skin and—to keep things from veering into vulgarity—a slinky bandeau bra. Hmmm...can't decide whether to reveal or conceal? Bartlett's got you covered on both counts.
The Designer: Massimiliano Giornetti The Look: Presented on New York's Upper East Side, Ferragamo's Resort outing was about as swanky as they come, with notables such as Eva Mendes, Frieda Pinto, Emma Roberts, Scott Speedman, Brad Goreski, Genevieve Jones, Olivia Chantecaille, Chiara Clemente and Ashley Greene turning out to take in the show. "Glamour" and "elegance" were the watchwords here, both for the venue—the stately James B. Duke Mansion—and for the collection, which opened with Mariacarla Boscono in a fluid white double-breasted pantsuit followed by Karolina Kurkova in an easy, sequin-sprinkled halter gown and Karlie Kloss in a deeply slit dress that recalled Halston in his heyday. The majority of looks peered further back in time, as Giornetti declared his muse du jour to be heiress Doris Duke (aka, the former lady of the house), with languid, Thirties- and Forties-inspired evening gowns, crisp nautical numbers and fringed skirts, dresses, scarves, jackets and bags—all topped by slicked back buns or huge brimmed sun hats. Just the thing for lounging poolside in Beverly Hills or swanning around the deck of your Newport-bound yacht—or a red carpet premiere.
The Designer: Cynthia Rowley The Look: Forgoing the usual presentation or showroom appointment, Cynthia Rowley opted to unveil her Resort collection by way of an online look book collaboration with Brooklyn artists Pamela Reed and Matthew Rader that was originally screened on StyleCaster and can now be seen on the designer's own website. Fashioned after an old-school flip book, the cheeky-chic Reed + Rader video features Rowley-clad models mugging in front of a dinosaur painting by artist John Smith. The collection itself has a raw/refined vibe inspired by Smith's work and features bright colors—tangerine, turquoise—and fabrics, such as floral embroidery topped by loopy plastic ribbon, inspired by the larger-than-life backdrop. "My Resort collection is all about coloring outside the lines," said Rowley. She made good on this promise vis-à-vis yellow print palazzo pants paired with a matching blouse, boldly-hued day dresses, "prehistoric" pendant necklaces, oversized two-tone "pill" clutches and cantilevered skirts bedecked with decorative stitching, all of which move the traditional idea of resort beyond the expected capri/caftan getaway basics and into more adventurous, fashion-forward territory.
The Designers: Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty The Look: The Suno duo presented a quirky, left-of-center take on the classic Hawaii tourism look as filtered through the prism of "nerdy midwesterners" and vintage island scenes. This translated into bright floral print tunics and sweet tops and dresses with texting tourist and oversized sequined postcard prints. Off-duty r&r was given a Williamsburg spin by way of floral-plaid mash-up ensembles (especially winning in a long sleeved floral button-down worn with an ankle-grazing vine-print skirt). The overall feel was one of relaxed, easygoing optimism—which is fast becoming Suno's signature.
The Designer: Vaughan Alexander The Look: With colors inspired by melted ice cream and spilled milkshakes, and linen or cotton/poplin fabrics treated to look and feel as if they'd been washed with an errant sock—or left to lie on a wet towel—Silvio Liu's Resort collection handily evokes the feeling of lazy days spent poolside and long strolls on Caribbean beaches. But while the collection may be based on the idea that accidents can have beautiful consequences, the resulting clothes—banded-hem midi skirts, easy shirtwaists yoked by rugged leather belts, twist-front caftans—boast an offhand elegance that is anything but haphazard.
The Designer: Marcia Patmos The Look: Postcard sunsets, Seventies dancehall reggae musicians and memories of seaside getaways inspired the M. Patmos Pre-Spring collection, which continued the seasonless layering, natural luxurious materials (eco-friendly Merino wool, traditional Bolivian hand knits) and high-tech techniques (Japanese zero-waste whole garment construction) that designer Marcia Patmos has made her signature. Standout pieces include reversible ombré silk dresses, a slim, work-to-weekend pant suit, serape stripe knit vest and luxe sleeveless cardigan with sequin embellishment in muted shades of camel, gold, citron, black and rust.
The Designer: Nima Taherzadeh The Look: "Jean Harlow in motion" was the muse behind Nima's easy-to-pack collection, which channeled the screen siren's iconic allure by way of sensual shifts, figure hugging cigarette pants, elegant trousers, a double-breasted swimsuit and chic trench coats in shades of tangerine, fuchsia, grey, black and white, all rendered with modern day-to-night ease.
The Designer: Daryl Kerrigan The Look: Inspired by early 20th century British socialite/It girl Lady Duff Gordon - who designed under the name Lucile, survived the sinking of the Titanic and popularized the term "chic"- Kerrigan's Resort collection married her signature rock and roll style with more romantic touches, vis-à-vis frayed lace dresses, sheer embroidery and sexy silk underpinnings. Black leather jackets, well-worn cowboy booties and slinky body conscious cuts kept things firmly in the (South of 14th Street) here and now.
Along with reviewing the Resort collections for The Fashion Informer, we've also been covering them for Rue La La, where we're a guest blogger/contributing editor. You can see our complete Rue La La Resort coverage here.
The Designer: Stella McCartney The Look: The theme of Stella's Resort presentation was a beer garden party, which was held at St. Luke's in the West Village and drew the likes of Bono, Estelle, Liv Tyler and Naomi Watts. There were flowers in abundance - in the garden, in vases on the picnic tables and on the clothes themselves - along with pinatas, a pretzel cart, a shaved ice stand, a Ping Pong table, buckets o' brewskies, balloons and tasty veggie treats. Style-wise, Stella served up boxy jackets atop slim pants, chic black-and-white sheath dresses, and lots of colorful striped and floral silk separates, including a really cute candy-striped poncho. Faux snakeskin bags and neon-hued shoes were displayed on rustic wooden shelves near the entrance to the garden. Upon leaving, guests were given small pots of roses to keep the beauty blooming all season.
The Designer: Erin Fetherston The Look: Flirty, feminine and fun. That's the way we'd describe Erin Fetherston's first Resort outing for Erin, the lower priced collection she debuted last fall. Full of the short, party-ready dresses that have become her signature - rendered here in soft shades of blush, seafoam, slate, champagne, ivory, black and navy offset by pops of color and a watery, zebra-striped print - these pleated, lavishly embellished confections are designed to take the wearer from a trip to St. Bart's to New Year's Eve at The Standard - and right on into spring. Although dresses are Erin's raison d'etre, there's also a full range of separates, including some beautifully tailored trousers, a grosgrain-trimmed skirt suit, and effortlessly elegant coats, tops and knits (another Erin first). "With Erin, I'm really interested in creating seasonless pieces," Fetherston told The Fashion Informer at her Milk Studios press preview last week. "Things that are very special that you can keep in your wardrobe for years. I don't want it to only be a holiday season dress or a vacation dress." We'd say she succeeded brilliantly.
The Designer: Chris Benz The Look: The flamingo-haired Benz took an equally colorful approach to his Bermuda-inspired "24-hour-chic" Resort collection, an artful mash-up of textures, fabrics and prints, all served with the designer's signature dose of wit and whimsy. Benz collaborated with Alejandro Ingelmo on footwear, Patricia Underwood on straw hats and The Woods on jewelry.
The Designer: Juan Carlos Obando The Look: It was all about subversive sexiness at Juan Carlos Obando, with a small, colorful collection of (mostly) silk dresses that looked decorous from the front but were anything but when glimpsed from the side or back, thanks to judiciously placed slits and cutouts. Rendered in rich tones of grass green, royal blue, hot pink, purple and burnt orange, these are body skimming clothes for confident gals who are proud to (tastefully) flaunt what Mother Nature gave 'em.
The Designer: Doo.Ri Chung The Look: Inspired by artist and textile designer Sonia Delaunay, whose work is on exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt through June 19th, Doo.Ri's Resort collection is a study in contrasts, both in terms of fabrics and texture (leather, lace, georgette, satin, sequins, cotton, embroidery) and in terms of color (coral and deep sea blue lend vibrancy to a geometric print blouse, dress and skirt, while the bodice of a burgundy shawl collared shift is encircled by a swirling coral panel). The collection, which features tons of clever—and beautiful—separates (see: a short-sleeved trench with removable leather bolero, wide-legged pants with the tuxedo stripe on the inside inseam, silk tops with delicate built-in chain necklaces, a drop tail white button-down sprinkled with white paillettes) is also twice as large as Doo.Ri's previous Resort collections.
The Designer: Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein The Look: Costa took the idea of t-shirt dressing to luxe new heights with reverse pleating, keyhole cutouts and shimmery silver straps in elongated silhouettes that skimmed the body for an air of easy, effortless elegance.
The Designer: Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony The Look: It was all about 90s skate culture nostalgia (with a nod to 80s rah-rah skirts) at Chloe Sevigny's latest outing for Opening Ceremony. Laser-cut leather, sweet white eyelet dresses, cutaway-shoulder blouses, high-waisted bloomers and sexy swimwear made for a hip style mashup designed to appeal to hip downtown girls. The collaboration with Vision Street Wear (sneakers, sweatpants, bomber jackets) was just the icing on the too-cool-for-school cake.