Resort 2012 Swings Into Spring

BY LAUREN DAVID PEDEN/THE FASHION INFORMER

Resort 2012

It may be the start of summer 2011 in the rest of the world, but in the fashion industry, the month of June is all about Resort 2012, with full-on shows and presentations – along with lower-key showroom market appointments – taking place all across the city. Here’s a sampling of what I saw over the past two weeks:

Donna Karan personally walked editors through her Resort collection at an intimate presentation in her showroom, located in the furthest reaches of Manhattan’s West Side. A display of white orchids, crystal-heeled shoes, and cashmere-clad mannequins greeted visitors in the front room, while a mini-runway show, narrated by Karan herself, took place in the back room, with additional Resort looks hanging off the rails that lined the space. The story here was all about full skirts, fitted sweaters, and slimming “body pants” topped by long jackets – all in shades of white, black, crimson, and silvery grey offset by bursts of red. I especially loved the sexy-cozy grey cashmere sweaters and the dresses and gowns with gorgeous origami-like hems.

At Jill Stuart, there were no models or mannequins, but two racks of sweetly sophisticated, ’40s-inspired, graphic print looks (think fit-and-flare cap sleeve dresses, playful rompers, jumpsuits, dressy denim shorts, and jackets) designed to be worn at work or on vacay. The prints were incredible and I wanted to wear everything right that minute.

Doo.Ri Chung unveiled her largest Resort collection to date (twice as big as her previous outings), filled with colorful, edgy-elegant separates inspired by the work of artist/textile designer, Sonia Delaunay. The looks were worn by mannequins and models (the latter on hand to shoot the lookbook). “I felt very focused this season; very inspired,” Doo.Ri told me while gesturing to her mood board. It showed. Standout looks included taupe tuxedo pants with an ivory stripe up the inner leg, a lace pencil skirt worn with a paillette-dusted button-down, a beige belted trench with removable black leather bolero, cap-sleeved blouses with delicate built-in chain necklaces, and a skirt, shell, and long-sleeve dress fashioned from a graphic coral, blue, and blush pink Delaunay-esque printed silk. And let’s not forget the pleated red Grecian gown with sheer net shoulders. Talk about a showstopper!

Over in Soho, Chloë Sevigny debuted her first Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony Resort collection last week with a full-on runway show that drew every hipster in town. This tribute to ’90s skate culture featured lots of laser-cut black leather, sweetly sexy eyelet blouses, rah-rah skirts, midriff-bearing bustiers, leather-sleeved denim jackets, cutout swimwear, and a capsule collaboration with Vision Street Wear, all designed to appeal to the cool downtown crowd.

Things took a decidedly more elegant turn at Juan Carlos Obando’s by-appointment-only Resort showing at Swarovski headquarters on 57th Street. JC told me he was determined to get back to the things he loved, which translated into subversively sexy dresses and gowns in an incredibly sophisticated color palette (grass green, royal blue, crimson, blush, and black), all of which were cut to conceal as much as they reveal. Take, for instance, one seemingly covered-up long sleeve gown that was slit up the front and beneath the arms to reveal a decorous swath of skin. So, too, a short pale pink satin shift that dipped low at the side to showcase the breast and ribcage. Oooh la la!

Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa, meanwhile, was inspired by the lowly T-shirt, which he reimagined as luxe, reverse-pleat day dresses and silver-strapped evening gowns that skimmed the body with effortless ease. Rendered in muted shades of white and lilac mixed with royal, midnight, and black, the 20-look collection was presented to an intimate audience at CK’s midtown headquarters. Flat-soled platform sandals, some with clear Perspex straps, completed this understated outing.

The Resort shows continue over the next few weeks, so check back later this month for highlights from Stella McCartney, Erin Fetherston, Chris Benz, Rebecca Minkoff, Daryl K, Alexander Wang, and more.

Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.

June 18, 2011