Francine Ballard's Rantings of the Accessory-Obsessed.
Olivier Rousteing seems to be doing quite well in his position at Balmain, as evidenced by this Resort 2013 for the storied French house.
Inspired by Miami both in color and motif, he put forth more of the bodycon dresses and strong-shouldered jackets editors and customers alike have come to expect. This season the large jackets were also paired with a rather ample trouser, and many of the dresses featured intricate Art Deco prints. The colors were simple- black, white, peach, mint green, a hint of a golden yellow hue. A few looks mixed stripes, harlequin print and some free-form florals in an improbably good combination. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
Peter Pilotto Resort 2013 showed an array of super-engineered prints designed by Pilotto and his partner Christopher De Vos. The patterns were quite literally engineered (not just placed strategically) by a computer program that allowed them to manipulate the prints and place them on the form in specific ways. Per usual the brand showed bright colors in more simple silhouettes with great details and let the prints speak for themselves. Also- love the shoes! -RS (Images via stylesight)
Vionnet Resort 2013 is a welcome offering for the brand, now being designed by twin sisters Barbara and Lucia Croce. After experimenting with a handful of creative directors (most recently Rodolfo Paglialunga, who I thought was rather good, actually) the Croce sisters have taken over, and with this collection proven their point. I loved the soft femininity that did not contain a single ruffle, the mature color palette and the understated styling. Bordeaux, marigold, goldnrod, blush pink.. all wonderful transitional colors when put together and especially in these shapes. A brand to keep an eye on for sure! -RS (Images via stylesight)
Proenza Schouler Resort 2013 was kind of a snooze. Want to see more? I mean, okay… -RS (via stylesight)
Calvin Klein Resort 2013 looked equal parts jetset and city staycation, with a soft neutrals color palette and some of my favorite shoes so far this season. Fransisco Costa showed calf-length dresses and hip-length tunics (for lack of a better descriptor) paired with cropped cigarette trousers which seem to be the preferred pant of the season. There was lots of white and grey, punctuated by a soft mimosa yellow and silvery medium green. The clothes had just the slightest 1970’s feel to them but were far more minimalist than anything actually from that era. The platform peep toe shoes made an excellent accessory statement when paired with the narrow silhouettes. -RS (Images via Stylesight)
Michael Kors Resort 2013 sort of felt like the design team had a “lets phone-it-in” moment. After a great Fall 2012 collection, it was a bit of a letdown, especially because this brand is one of the few established American brands one really associates immediately with resortwear. There was nothing all that wrong with it, just not particularly compelling. -RS (Images via Stylesight)
Since the Italians have been doing well this season, let’s keep on that tip and talk about Givenchy. Yes, yes it’s technically French but Riccardo Tisci is Italian and so therefore it’s admissible here.
Resort 2013 went to sort of a medieval meets the crusades coming back from Istanbul type moment. There were lots of those dropped-crotch trousers that are continually revived much to the chagrin of everyone, I’d imagine. Some were in solid fabrications while others had complicated engineered prints with insets of solid on lovely silk paisleys. Many of the blouses had a split sleeve from the shoulder to wrist which lent the medieval princess vibe.
With all the soft silky dresses and blouses, what better way to balance than with a cheeky extraordinarily complicated looking peep-toe boot? These were shown with look after look in both black and caramel, and they’d better have a zipper on the inseam or back because that looks like a nightmare to get in and out of!
As the day wound down (my favorite part of Givenchy mid-season presentations is how they shoot out of doors against an ever-changing background and so you get lots of interesting things happening in the photos, and the light dimming as the looks progress) the eveningwear emerged and there were some wonderful gowns in both solid black and multi-hued paisley. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
Givenchy Resort 2013, dog not included. -RS (Image via Vogue.com)
The second half the Resort 2013 collection did focus more on the hot pink, black and white color stories, turning out versions in dresses short and long. Every single one of them was really wonderful; I see endless red carpet possibilities for anyone from JPG to Kiki Dunst to Alexa Chung to Bianca Balti and everyone in between.
There is wiggle room in this collection to wear it super femme and retro, or to work it more glam or even add a bit of edge. The versatility and beauty of each individual look strengthens the offering as a whole, and I can only offer my congratulations to Maria Grazia and Pier Paolo for yet another fantastic and inspired upholding of the Valentino tradition.- RS (Images via Vogue.com)
The Italians are really killin’ it this Resort 2013 season. First it was Gucci I couldnt get over how good it was, and now Valentino. Maria Grazia and Pier Paolo presented one of their best collections to date, showing what were simply good, good, clothes.
The first look was a floor-length sunset pastel colored floral dress that set the tone for the entire collection. Dresses and separates were a bit prim; cigarette pants paired with neat blouses, knee-length dresses with tight little collars and A-line skirts, and extraordinary evening-wear were all vaguely reminiscent of the early 1960’s without seeming retro or overly derivative at all. The colors too were wonderful- the soft pastel group opening into a perfect bright medium green, a buttery yellow, lots of hot pink in a perfectly pitched hue, and some black and white mixed in. The lacy dresses were particularly good updates of what has become a Valentino staple, especially when accessorized in matching colors. For some reason this looked super fresh to the eye. Sleek and clean rather than over-styled as people are wont to do these days. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
Derek Lam’s presentation for Resort 2013 is a tasteful display of city dressing with only the tiniest hint of “resort” per se. The latter comes in the form of a blown-up giraffe print in black and white that looks more Michael Kors than Lam but is attractive nonetheless. A powder blue cropped jacket with safari pockets at the chest was a standout, as was a sleeveless crimson shirtdress, its full skirt and nipped waist tailored perfectly. The last few looks in the collection moved away from rigid silhouettes into softly draped blouson dresses with asymmetrically placed front closures. While not the most innovative or trend-setting collection, there was still plenty to like. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
As Gucci Resort 2013 moved along, the group of white pantsuits caught my eye and I fell deeply in love with the double breasted relaxed jacket paired with slightly flared trousers. The Flora print on white in coats and dresses is sure to pop up in editorials and on red carpets all season long. There were plenty of good separates, super flattering silhouettes, and finally some bright colors that remind one Spring is ahead. While a Barbie pink pantsuit might seem like a stretch to some, trust me when I say I’ve seen the perfect candidates for this look on the streets of Florence and Rome. The final looks- a seafoam dress with jeweled neckline and some fun, casual blue and white striped pieces lightened up the collection. Frida Giannini, devo dire… bravissima! -RS (Images via Vogue.com)