Resort Roundup, Part Deux

BLauren David Peden

So it’s time for the second half of my Resort roundup, focusing on the shows – and showroom appointments — that took place in the later half of June.

Chris Benz presented a colorful Bermuda-inspired collection, full of the whimsical prints and piled-on textures that have become his signature. Multi-hued dresses were nipped at the waist or hung loose from the shoulders, bold patterned maillots had sheer matching cover-ups, and quirky short-sleeved sweaters were designed to ward off the chill during midwinter Caribbean getaways. All were worn with Alejandro Ingelmo platforms or metallic sneakers and Patricia Underwood wide-brimmed hats.

Things were short and sweet over at Erin Fetherston. The designer offered a range of separates (trousers, coats, skirt suits, even knits) in the first Resort collection for her lower-priced line, Erin, but dresses were the star of the show. The newly-cropped designer walked editors through the collection personally while two models showed off her latest looks, which are meant to take you from New Year’s Eve to mid-winter vacation and right on into spring (think: one-shoulder, zebra-striped dresses, elaborately pleated strapless frocks, and enough LBDs to make modern-day Holly Golightlys swoon with delight).

Marc by Marc Jacobs was all about controlled sexiness, with a collection that ranged from beachy floral dresses to more sophisticated cocktail looks. And the accessories — neon quilted bags, stripey patent platforms, and quirky-cool headphones and iPad cases — were spot on. All told, just the thing to take you from St. Barth’s to The Standard in style.

Downtown diva Daryl K took early 20th century British socialite/designer Lady Duff Gordon as her inspiration, updated for 21st-century trendsetters. This translated into split-seamed jodhpurs, sexy leather jackets, draped jumpsuits, and artfully shredded chiffon-and-velvet dresses (a nod, perhaps, to Lady Gordon’s having famously survived the sinking of the Titanic).

“Jean Harlow in Motion” was the muse for Nima’s Resort outing, which boasted skinny fuchsia trousers topped by a tangerine shell, black-and-white double breasted tuxedo dresses, and slouchy grey trousers worn with a gold-embroidered button-down. Miss Harlow would surely approve.

M.PATMOS, meanwhile, offered up a collection based on postcard sunsets, ’70s dancehall reggae musicians, and memories of seaside vacations. To wit: easy knit separates, reversible ombré silk shifts, and sequin-trimmed cardigans in dusty shades of citron, rust, camel, and gold.

Up-and-coming label Silvio Liu based its collection on the idea of melted ice cream and spilled milkshakes, which explains the drips of yellow and pink on white linen and cotton/poplin dresses, all rendered in effortlessly elegant silhouettes. I especially loved the throw-it-on-and-go twist-front dresses. So chic!

Rebecca Minkoff, she of the covetable rock-chic bags and shoes, presented her first-ever Resort collection at her Flatiron District studio, complete with modernized urban cargos, a marble-print mini shirtwaist, and day-to-night grey lace shorts, all toughened up with edgy sandals and studded leather bags.

And Suno designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty unveiled a delightfully quirky collection inspired by the classic Hawaiian tourist look. In their capable hands, however, loud floral tunics and “texting tourist” prints looked oh-so-stylish. And their mash-up of flowered skirts with plaid shirts somehow managed to read more chic than kitsch. Ditto a pair of sequined postcard print dresses, which conveyed a sense of charming, left-of-center style.

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

July 6, 2011