The fashion world has traditionally revolved around a timetable of two seasons. In September runways are filled in New York, London, Milan and Paris showing ready-to-wear collections for the following season (spring/summer) and in February the same destinations show for the autumn/winter season. Traditionally, the only shows that took place outside of these two time periods were the couture showings in July. Amid whispers that the fashion world might one day become totally seasonless, we are now beginning to see a new breed of show, an in-betweener: Resort (also known as ‘Pre’ or ‘Cruise’) gather pace.
What is Resort fashion?
Resort fashion has always existed – it is essentially an interseason line that was at first designed to cater to the needs of wealthy fashion customers who would be looking for out of season clothes i.e. warm weather looks for their winter sun breaks at luxury resorts or aboard five star cruises. However, it has now grown into something far more substantial and this year its popularity has reached new heights. Today we have Resort fashion presented in May – July that acts as a precursor to the main summer collections shown in September and Pre-Fall collections shown in November ahead of the main autumn/winter shows at the start of the following year. Resort is turning the traditional fashion calendar on its head.
The Resort shows that are currently taking place have been some of the most covered of any interseason event. Major labels such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel chose spectacular backdrops such as Westminster Abbey, the streets of Cuba, Blenheim Palace and the ultra modern space age Oscar Niemeyer–designed Niterói Contemporary Art Museum in Brazil to stage their Resort shows. Coverage in the world media spiked significantly thanks to the new breed of supermodels who walked in the shows, from Kendal Jenner to Gigi Hadid, and suddenly the world wants to know why Resort hasn’t been on the agenda until now.
Why is it important?
In fact, Resort has been a useful tool for designers for many years and while it may not previously have achieved the coverage the that regular RTW shows have, it has always offered more of an opportunity for designers to explore their creativity. Some designers choose to make their more extravagant designs wearable via the Resort collections while others use the opportunity to present a reworked version of a classic. The Resort collections have also come to play a key role in the buying process for fashion too with the wearability factor making the Resort collections far more appealing to buyers looking to stock up on recognisable brands to sell to customers who may not want to spend out on high priced RTW or couture. Resort collections also tend to be far more transseasonal – filling those awkward months when it’s not quite summer or not yet winter and they offer insight into the trends that may arise in the coming season too.
Of course, for fashion designers, the addition of Resort collections just introduces yet another pressure into their already packed schedules, particularly for those such as Karl Lagerfeld who are in charge of more than one label. However, for the rest of us it means more fashion, more creativity and more fabulous catwalk shows to marvel at – and that can only be a good thing.
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