The latest Gucci Resort Collection hit our radars this week, with a grand total of 116 looks, paraded in front of an achingly glamorous and stylish audience at the Palatine Gallery of Palazzo Pitti in Florence. Not a small collection by any means (I often wonder how they fit it all in!), the Gucci resort 2018 pieces and looks veritably oozed an effortlessly chic, summer luxury vibe.
And in fact, I have noticed that even the venues of these high-end shows exude an air of decadence in their own right, often looking like they have been torn right from the pages of some glossy luxury travel brochure.
Take Vuitton’s Cruise collections for example. They have been held in some of the most spectacular spots on the planet such as Rio’s Niterói Museum or Bob Hope’s John Lautner-designed home in Palm Springs, and this year at the Miho Museum just outside Kyoto and designed by the noteworthy architect I. M. Pei.
Who can forget Karl Lagerfeld’s Resort 2017 collection in Cuba, Gucci’s Resort 2017 collection at Westminster Abby (I am still hankering after the gorgeous embroidered sitting cushions they used for that show!), or Dior 's Cruise 2017 at the idyllic Blenheim Palace. In fact, just looking through the vast list of impressive show venues, there does seem to a bit of a competition going on in the designer world, for who can show their resort collections in the most spectacular locations. And so there should be!
But location, location, location aside, let’s have a look at where Resort collections stand in the fashion calendar and why have they become so popular. Generally speaking, these collections are shown in May, wedged carefully after the last worldwide Fall/Winter collections like the up-and-coming Tbilisi Fashion Week, and before the Men's Collection in Pitti in June. Resort collections get launched between the two main ready-to-wear seasons; Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter, and although they are generally only created for women, this is currently changing, with more and more men’s resort collections are being introduced.
In fact, when you think that these collections hit the shops in November and tend to stay intact until May when they actually go on sale, you can see how and why they work for the designer. Especially when they have to compete with the fast-fashion competition of the high street brands like Zara, which bring new merchandise every two weeks, all of which is inspired by said designers – you can see why they feel it is definitely time to get in on the action!
So where did it all start? Probably sometime during the flamboyant 20's, when traditionally when the weather got too cold in the city, those with Vuitton trunks and a family inheritance, headed to warmer climes on a cruise or to a resort destination. Logically there was no way these socialites, IT girls and wealthy fashionistas could possibly transport their whole wardrobes, (although some did try!) so the idea was that these resort and cruise collections were more practical, lighter and easier to transport.
Today an enormously larger percentage of the global population can travel to different parts of the world, so having the option of buying a lighter wardrobe just makes sense. I still remember that not so long ago, it was a real nightmare to get a swimsuit in November! The reason I needed one you ask? It was only because I was travelling to Australia where their seasons are totally the opposite to ours in Europe.
Original article for La Provincia Friday 02nd June 2017