Vintage: Putting The Retro Back In Resort

July 9, 2012 • Magazine, Vintage

I haven’t always been a huge Resort fan. Partly because I like simplicity and prefer fashion’s two-season AW/SS rotation, and partly because my relationship with summer clothing is very love/hate, with an emphasis on hate. In my effort to broaden horizons and embrace the fact that summer is indeed a reality, I decided to pay closer attention to the 2013 Resort collections and was inspired by some of the rich ingenuity I found throughout. Many designers built collections around dynamic sources of vintage inspiration — infusing their collections with elegant, whimsical, chic and bold nods to years past. Although many were successful in their work to modernize retro styles, a few collections really stood out. From the flapper to David Bowie, these designers successfully merged some of history’s most iconic style moments with Resort looks for 2013 that are both modern and timeless.

Kenzo: Carol Lim and Humberto Leon brought a unique 1960’s flavor to their 2013 Resort collection. What immediately struck me was the styling: long straight locks accented with exposed ears, circular sunglasses and printed platforms. The straight lines work perfectly with the collection’s insouciance and spry wit, speaking to the very best of both the ’60s and jovial Resort wear. If you’re a modern day darling of the ’60s (like me!) keep it simple in un-layered frocks whose patterns speak their own personality. Hair stays free and shoes kept high, but comfortable. Short dresses are always best; gams for days are better.

Lanvin: “Resort is about solutions,” Alber Elbaz said at his 2013 Resort presentation. And this is true. As more and more designers join the leagues of Resort wear, the challenge is ever-present: how to design wearable, stylish clothing for the mid-season jet-set crew that keeps them both comfortable and classy. Elbaz, as always, produced an exquisite collection of looks that showed a distinct modernization of classic 1920s style. His experimentation with raised hemlines allowed for a reinterpretation of the flapper that is at once both very sexy and undeniably cool. The slicked back hair and exaggerated statement jewelry enhance the subtle detailing of Elbaz’s relatively simple shapes, redefining ageless in his exploration of classic sex appeal. The lesson, ladies? Keep it simple. Accentuate in the details. What’s ultimately sexiest is always better left unseen (until the proper moment, of course).

Marni: What I love most about this collection is the double take. At first glance, Consuelo Castiglioni‘s designs seem simple, straightforward, stylishly clear-cut. But a second look allows you to really take in her high level of design and the vibrant personality she intricately infused into each look. For Resort 2013, Castiglioni embraced the ’50s, augmenting the twin-set, skirt and penny loafer look with exaggerated lines, geometric prints and proportions that would have been considered fairly audacious in the inspiring decade. Marni proves that that a ’50s maven can be quite sexy in all her buttoned-up glory — invest in a unique broach, sheer knee-highs, stylish shoe and some exotic prints. It’s hip to be a square.

Alexander McQueen: Sarah Burton‘s 2013 Resort collection lends a futuristic nod to the 1970s, with both David Bowie and Art Deco as her cited inspiration. Metallics highlight the geometric patterns of uber-flared pants and sleek, tailored jackets with sharp, pointy shoulders, while metal belts cinch the waist tight, like a high-glam, modern corset. Accessories are minimal in number, but this is ideal — the focus is on long, leggy silhouettes and sweeping gowns. But this collection evokes more than Bowie’s dramatic exploration of shape and angles, or the elegant brocading and embroidery of the Art Deco world. There is a power element to these looks that hearkens back to Yves Saint Laurent’s le smoking tuxedo, and his empowering application of menswear to women’s clothing. On the other hand, the elegant classicism of Burton’s luxe gowns invite glamorous femininity at its very finest — another vintage mentality, as glamour is a far cry from what it once was. Taking Resort to heightened levels, Burton’s embrace of various decades and dressing styles show the versatile nature of dress and a wizened approach to design that is as poignant and artful as her predecessor’s.

Vena Cava: 1970s whimsy is behind the work of Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock‘s Resort 2013 collection. They paid homage to Angelica Huston, Loulou de la Falaise and Jerry Hall from their Studio 54 days with references to Helmut Newton, as well. Energetic prints are splashed across short shorts, ruffled dresses and flowing jumpsuits, peppered with chic blazers and stylistic references to the kimono. The designers tailor their bohemian energy in a way that feels effortlessly modern, while also embracing the quirky, energetic spirit of the line’s inspiring decade. Fun, playful, summer — everything Resort should be. Put on your party gear and let your chicest summertime freak flag fly.

– Amanda Aldinger

Photos: Style.com

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