European designers invaded New York last week with their Resort 2013 collections. The precurser to spring collections were full of vibrant hues, soft appealing pastels and cheerful prints – with the focus on floral prints so vivid you could almost smell them. In fact, these collections were so uplifting you wonder why they were shipped over to New York, with the state of Europe’s economy they could have used them to brighten their days.
Gucci’s streamlined, gorgeous 70’s tinged collection is thus far my favorite collection. Frida Giannini created the perfect resort collection – something for vacations, the girl who has to remain in the city to work and the delectable runway pieces everyone wants to see.
Pantsuits in denim blue and lavender with elongated jackets and low-slung, skinny flares along with A-line shifts and long narrow evening numbers in solid shades of yellow, turquoise green, and raspberry were all stand-outs. But the star of the show was the Flora print (originally lifted from a fifties Gucci scarf made for Grace Kelly) finding its way on to everything from a fresh white linen pea coat to tapered pants to long column dresses.
I can’t get Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli’s long tulle dress appliquéd with lace flowers off my mind. The high neck, sheer long sleeves and declotte and full skirt made for a stunning show-opener. The designer’s Andy Warhol portrait paintings lined resort mood board was the inspiration for the opening dresses and much of the rest of the collection’s color palette – neon pinks, sky blues, electric oranges .
This is a collection full of party ensembles – dresses in floral brocade, guipure lace and chiffon with a smattering of tapered ankle length trousers paired with flirty peplum tops. The single pantsuit in the collection came in a leopard print which also made its way onto a pink/purple silk chiffon tiered dress. Another stand out in MC and PP’s feminine but hardly demure collection (it’s one full of attitude) is the exquisite guipure lace emerald-green pantsuit.
A surprise discovery of costumes that Cristobal Balenciaga made for a ballet performance of Ravel’s Boléro in the 1930’s inspired Nicolas Ghesquière’s resort 2013 collection. Not just the fluidity but also the color palette – baby blue, baby pink, and a barely there shade of yellow he called bergamot. There was a hard/soft motif that played throughout, classic draping fabrics like jersey and chiffon georgette were married with a scubalike and stiffer neoprene fabrics that created sculptural, three-dimensional ruffles.
Look for European Invasion Part 2 tomorrow.
First group of 4 photos – Gucci Resort 2013 2nd group of 4 – Valentino Resort 2013 3rd group of 4 – Balenciaga Resort 2013.