After years of showing in far-flung locations and exotic destinations, most fashion brands scaled things down this season for their annual Resort (aka Cruise) collections. Due to travel and mass gathering restrictions caused by the pandemic, the usual big budget shows were postponed, or canceled outright.
Additionally, lockdown measures meant that many designers had to put together these collections without being able to meet in the studio with their teams. (On average, the number of total looks were reduced as well.) As a result, brands had to get creative, whether enlisting their staff to model the clothes or shooting their lookbooks in remote locations while following social distancing guidelines. Below, we've rounded up some of the most noteworthy collections for Resort 2021.
As Oscar de la Renta's Resort 2021 collection came to life in the height of the pandemic, creative directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia came to a clarifying understanding of their lifelong mission: to make their clients and customers feel effortlessly confident and beautiful, regardless of the circumstances. Striking change in times of strife, yet still holding true to the Dominican fashion designer's legacy, this latest collection exudes optimism with fresh-from-the-garden hues and lively silhouettes. Cut-out inclusions, appliqué needlework, and hand-painted detailing enhance timeless designs with a playful flair, underscoring the timeless elegance of Oscar's universe.
In recent years, MM6 Maison Margiela has taken over fashion's centerstage, boasting a collaboration with The North Face and executing stunning runway shows in London and Milan. But for Resort 2021, the house made just as significant an impact with a peeled-back take on Martin Margiela's work. The design team crafted a collection of simple-yet-versatile fashion, one rid of over-the-top statement pieces and flashy moments.
Instead, the line showcases a beautiful reinterpretation of Margiela's philosophy, offering a blend of boxy suiting and casual-cut sportswear, a selection of velcro-adjustable shirt dresses and trousers and an array of denim-infused two-piece sets among several other elevated looks.
In seasons past, Carolina Herrera's Resort collections have heavily sourced inspiration from far away places (a Latin holiday for 2020 and Palm Springs in the '60s for 2019), but for this season, the label was forced to look inward amid the pandemic. "For this collection, my starting point was not an exotic location but rather my own living room, where I sat and allowed my creativity to flow," explained Creative Director Wes Gordon. "The world is serious enough; fashion should let our dreams soar and bring us joy."
The range follows the bright colorscape of a fearless world and lets the imagination roam free, stimulating curiosity with liberating silhouettes including a poppy-printed taffeta dress with exaggerated knots complementing the bustier and a pleated marigold dress with 18 layers of tulle.
Tod's Creative Director Walter Chiapponi called on the casual elegance of the '70s for Pre-Spring 2021. In both a men's and women's collection, shades of green, bordeaux, navy and sky blue work in tandem with muted tones, tastefully incorporating flashes of color into sportswear designed to meet the codes of sophistication.
The men's collection embraces masculinity in pairings of corduroy pants and upscale blazers, while the women's range highlights skilled composure with knee-length skirts and eye-catching bow-tie blouses. All in all, the intricate details of each ensemble speak to the label's forward take on classic constructions.
This Resort season, creative director Virgil Abloh shared news that Off-White is now developing its men's and women's collections in one studio. And as he syncs the pace of both projects, their same-room production becomes evident in the lookbooks. Mirroring inspirations weave through both line-ups, while bold tailoring and sharp constructions find prominence for both genders.
On the women's side, a scarlet red double-breasted blazer melds with a leather moto-dress, a narrowing track suit and a fresh all-white shirt, while red and fuchsia color-blocking commands both a pantsuit and pencil skirt combination. As for the men's collection, overcoats bearing military-grade decorum align with dual-toned pants and top-stitched denim, while all-over graffiti prints, beaded half-belts and bomber jackets echo an anti-establishment sentiment. Proving fundamental elements are key, Abloh reinterprets the everyday wardrobe with forward-thinking reinventions, culminating in two well-rounded collections.
Typically traveling far-and-wide for a backdrop, the latest Louis Vuitton cruise collection was shot in a much more familiar space: Nicolas Ghesquière's studio in Paris. Inspired by a "stationary journey" in lockdown, the range, dubbed "Game On," makes playful references to a popular quarantine activity — playing cards. Placing blown-up motifs of clubs, spades, diamonds and hearts atop signature dresses and accessories, the collection sources inspiration from introspection. "I looked somewhere that has been calling out to me for a long time, somewhere I hadn't taken the time to go back to. To uncover one inspiration after another," Ghesquière said in a statement. "This is an exploration of my creative identity."
At the helm of Jil Sander, husband-and-wife designers Luke and Lucie Meier unveiled a Resort 2021 collection defined by pure and exacting silhouettes. Valuing the human touch of craftsmanship in each piece, the artistic directors placed emphasis on their appreciation for counter-styles, enlisting assertive proportions and practical textiles with masculine cuts and tender color-ways. Standouts include a sharp-tailored, cream gazar blazer with an asymmetrical, cone-inspired skirt, oversized, light-colored bags with accentuated, cross-body belting, and a pillow-reminiscent cape in a glossy egg-white silk satin thrown casually over a double-cashmere dress. Overall, the collection is a respectful exploration of nature and the label's existence within it.
This season, Creative Director Riccardo Tisci employed a powerful style duality: refined tailoring and cutting-edge streetwear. "I wanted to draw upon the familiar, the things that bring us comfort and strength," he said in a statement. "I returned to what first inspired me in the Burberry heritage house codes, like the check, iconic stripes and unicorn emblems, but revisited them with a new perspective, incorporating elements of both sophistication and street through the lens of the outdoors." Among the abundance of statement looks, the poise of a crisp-cut matching suit in the house's signature print starkly contrasts the valor of a classic camel trench with Burberry's timeless logo painted on the belt in red.
Amid the darkest months of the pandemic, Olivier Rousteing sought refuge in his artistic vision, one largely centered on hopeful, bright colors. For Balmain's Resort 2021 collection, the designer worked digitally with his team to emulate the vivid hues, dominating graphics and crisp cuts of '90s fashion, serving a much-need reminder of youthful optimism.
Within the range, a bright pink, plaid blazer and a matching monochromatic skirt meet a pastel green assemblage and a statement-making glove brought to life by a crystal-adorned top, all the while a signature sequined suit jacket in black and yellow pays respect to the house's long-lasting legacy.
For Resort, Isabel Marant paid homage to the exaggerated '80s style — structural volumes with bold, oversized shoulders and tightly cinched, high waists that provided contrast. Last season's stirrup pants were reworked as acid-wash jeans and paired with a pouf-y, strong-collared blouse, while a double-breasted Prince of Wales suit highlighted the female form in a strictly business manner. The color story fuses warm and light tones with dominant shades of red, green and navy, lending optimism that the colder months will not be spent in all-black.
Photos courtesy of brands