The Lists

what are the best looks in the new resort collections?

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year: the luxury designer Resort/Cruise Collections for 2018-2019 are now available. There have been sneak peeks for the past two weeks, and now the resort collections are open for business. Time to go shopping!

The 2018-19 luxury designer resort collections are now available online and in-store. Resort (or “cruise,” if you like the old-school moniker) is one of our favorite seasons – just as with the pre-fall collections, the clothes in Resort tend to be less trendy and therefore a more sensible investment. The looks are usually polished, optimistic and versatile.

Plus they usually evoke distant lands untouched by snow and ice: the desert, the tropics, the Mediterranean. Happily, this year is no exception. From Valentino’s 70’s-style Roman holiday collection to Chanel’s nautical voyage and Dior’s tribute to Mexico’s female rodeo, this year’s resort collections will give you a case of serious wanderlust in addition to a jolt of female empowerment. 

Whether you’re buying because you’ve already got an elegant trip planned, or just “window-shopping” and looking for inspiration, these are worth a look. What better way to dream a little dream than to browse the best of the resort collections?

Are you in? If so, dear reader, walk this way.

We’ve zeroed in on seven luxury brands we love – Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Valentino. We’ve assessed apparel and accessories to highlight key trends and standout pieces:

1. Chanel:  When Karl Lagerfeld couldn’t find a cruise ship to host his 2019 Cruise Collection show for Chanel, he did what any reasonable designer would do – he built his own replica ship from which to host the collection’s launch.  Named La Pausa, after the villa in the South of France built by founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in the 1930’s, the replica ship was a spectacular backdrop for Chanel’s cruise collection. The collection itself is an homage to the concept of cruise collections – the legend is that Coco Chanel herself invented it in the late 1920’s for wealthy clients looking for easy dresses, sailor pants and prints to wear on-board their Mediterranean sailing vacations. This year’s collection hearkens back to this era, with quintessential Chanel quilting, tweed, sailor pants, pearls, Scottish cashmere and camellias galore.

The Chanel Resort 2018-19 Cruise Collection Runway in Paris

The Accessory:  The beret is back.  This chic hat stood out as the must-have accessory of this show, and was shown in various materials and in colors ranging from neutrals to pastels.

Chanel Cruise 2018-19 Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Shoe: Ideal for both land and sea was the debut of sporty-chic Mary Janes. in silver and white. For the runway, they were frequently paired with white tights for a crisp fresh vibe, but you can easily rock them sans hosiery.

Chanel Cruise 2018-19 Collection

The Standout look: Much of the collection centers around what Lagerfeld himself dubbed the “flexible dress” – a design consisting of a separate top and skirt that shows just a sneak peek of midriff.  The look is dressed up for evening with thick clusters of confetti sequins at the waist and sleeves.

Chanel Cruise Collection 2018-19

2. Dior. For the Dior Cruise collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri drew her inspiration from Mexican culture and equestrianism, focusing on the Mexican female riders known as escaramuzas who also performed at the show. The runway show itself took place in Chantilly, a town outside Paris synonymous with lace, so it’s fitting that the collection is filled with lace detailing and feminine lace dresses. Elsewhere, there were wide skirts paired with fitted jackets and wide belts, giving this collection a look that is not just folkloric, but also refined and a bit edgy – just as Chiuri envisions the modern Dior woman.

The Dior Cruise 2018-19 show in Chantilly, France

Dior Cruise 2018-19 Runway Show

The Accessory: Some might say the important accessories are the saddle-inspired belts and wide-brimmed straw hats with lace detailing. But it really is the return of the saddle bag that we think takes the headline – Chiuri has wholeheartedly embraced this item from the archives.

The Dior Cruise 2018-19 Saddle Bag

The Shoe: The femininity of the full skirts and the use of Toile de Jouy and embroidery throughout the collection was balanced by cool-chic rubber army boots.

Dior Cruise 2018-19 Boots

The Standout look: Stunning dresses made of lace that give this fragile material a fresh contemporary look in form and feel when cinched with a broad leather saddle-inspired belt.

Dior Cruise Collection 2018-19

3. FENDI. Creative director Karl Lagerfeld never shies away from being bold and provocative, and this collection is no exception. It’s a mix of expert tailoring, relaxed silhouettes and a refined array of soft pastels. Throughout, there’s a playful and energized mix of masculine and feminine, such as sharply-cut blazers paired with cigarette pant-pleated skirt hybrids and soft prairie dresses with pointed contrasting collars. The dynamic of draping and soft materials alongside knife-sharp structured tailoring provides a modern interpretation of the idea of femininity itself.

The FENDI Resort Collection 2018-19

The Accessory: The new Flip bag combines the silhouettes of a tote, a clutch and a messenger bag all into one.

The new FENDI Flip Bag from Resort 2018-19

The Shoe: The collection’s sturdy, bold cowboy boots in shiny gold and silver metallic leather channel a full-on Wonder Woman vibe.

FENDI Resort 2018-19 Collection

The Standout look: The double-breasted tailored jackets with matching cigarette pants and pleated skirts. The belted coats with faux-fur cuffs are a close runner-up.

FENDI Resort 2018-19 Collection

4. Gucci. Having debuted at the historical Alyscamps, a Roman necropolis in the southern French city of Arles, the Gucci Cruise Collection is a fever dream of design, filled with 19th-century style mourning headpieces, Roman death masks and pieces radiating Gothic romanticism. Despite the wide array of ancient and modern references throughout, the collection still features brand signatures like plaid skirts, floral silk prints, tigers and funky eyeglasses galore. As always, its a maximalist’s dream come true.

The setting of the Gucci Cruise show 2018-19 in Arles, France

The Gucci Cruise 2018-19 show at Alyscamps, Arles, France

Gucci Resort 2018-19 Collection Photo Courtesy of the New York Times

The Accessory: Aside from the rich velvet embroidered capes, the standout accessory from this collection was the debut of the brand’s new ostrich bag featuring the house’s signature Double G hardware.

Gucci Cruise 2018-19 Collection Bags

The Shoe: If you haven’t yet invested in a pair of Princetown loafers, this is your moment: they were featured throughout the show via side pockets on various tote bags and backpacks. Want to be more adventurous? Have a look at these, straight from the runway.

Gucci Resort 2018-19 Collection Shoes

The Standout look: If there was any look that sums up this collection, it would be the full and fluffy white high-collared bridal-style Victorian gown, which is seemingly filled with as many layers and hidden messages as this collection.

The Gucci Resort 2018-19 collection

5. Louis Vuitton. Designer Nicola Ghesquière delivered everything we have come to expect from him with the latest Louis Vuitton Cruise Collection: modernity, pops of color and a dash of the unexpected. Overall, the vibe was about unfussy and natural feminine strength. Shown at the Maeght Foundation Museum of Modern Art in the south of France, the collection includes austere white, some color-saturated print metallics, a few lingerie looks, and a touch of the iconic LV Monogram print.

Louis Vuitton Resort Collection show Photo Credit: Getty Images

Louis Vuitton Resort Collection 2018-19

The Accessory:  Ghesquière collaborated with his friend, stylist and former Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington, on a collection of bags based on the sketches she does of her beloved cats and his beloved dogs. If you’re a dog or cat lover, these bags are puuurfect for you (yeah, we went there. Sorry).

Louis Vuitton Cruise Collection 2018-19

The Shoe: Building on the already-legendary Archlight sneaker are LV’s newest over-the-knee boot/sneaker hybrids, which bring to mind the look a of a powerful female Jedi master ready to take on the world.

Louis Vuitton Cruise Collection 2018-19

The Standout look:  There are so many beautiful jackets: boxy, cropped, round-shouldered and blazer-inspired. But it’s the feathery jacket that stole the show.

Louis Vuitton Cruise Collection 2018-19

6. Prada. Miuccia Prada staged her 90’s-infused (and second ever) Resort show at Prada headquarters in New York City. There were multiple references to Prada’s iconic spring 1996 collection, in which the designer famously thrust “ugly” prints into the forefront of fashion. This time around the shapes were structured and clean.

Prada Resort Collection 2018-19

Prada Resort Collection 2018-19

The Accessory: The statement trapper-inspired hats were the result of a trip to Russia taken by one of Prada’s sons (he’s a philosopher and race car driver). Meanwhile, the handbags are sleek and functional.

Prada Resort Collection 2018-19

Prada Resort Collection 2018-19

The Shoe:  The brand’s latest chunky-heeled loafers in jacquard or patent leather prove that like the song says, it’s hip to be square (OK, sorry, we promise we’ll stop now).

Prada Resort Collection 2018-19

The Standout look:  Though the show featured references to some of the brand’s famous prints, motifs and nylon accessories from the ’90s, it’s the handful of minimalist looks – including a cool silver topper – that stand out from the rest.

7. Valentino. Creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli was inspired by both his native Rome and eclectic 70’s fashion for his Resort collection. The result is a glamorous Roman street chic vibe full of printed scarves, over-sized sunglasses and classic silhouettes including everything from structured A-line dresses to over-sized blazers. In addition to the impeccably cut tailored pieces, there are diaphanous floor-length frocks and floating wrap dresses evocative of the perfect Roman holiday.

Valentino Resort 2019

The Accessory: Nearly every look was styled with a beautiful silk printed head scarf ideal for easy breezy vacation days (and dramatic Instagram shots).

The Shoe:  The collection’s fringed and stacked heel loafers will go with just about everything: pant suits, mini dresses and flared jeans.

The Standout look: The cheeky printed dresses of all lengths that display Valentino’s logo lettering. We know it’s about branding, but in the designer’s hands this also becomes an interesting design element, thanks to the varying sizes, colors and styles.

There you have it – the 2018-19 resort round-up. All in all, there’s a lot to like here – and it’s a much-needed dose of whimsy, beauty and strength to fortify us for the days ahead. Bravo.

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