The European Resort collections: I could liken them to a surprise dessert, brought out on the house at a five-star restaurant. A little unexpected and thoroughly delectable (even though, after numerous courses of seasonal collections, you know you probably don’t need more treats!). This year, I’ve narrowed it down the crème de la crème. Here’s what the most masterful chefs of fashion have whipped up for 2013:
Céline: What else can anyone say about the intellectual, inspiring Phoebe Philo that hasn’t already been said? She just gets it right, every time. Juxtaposing hard, clean lines with lightly billowing bursts, she punched up graphic black and white with bold greens – and, of course, her signature leopard. Python and leather patchwork? Thoroughly fresh. She manages to make everything old look new again. Those silk scarves collecting dust in your drawers (the ones your mother’s been amassing for you since high school)? Put them to good use!
Valentino: Pop Art usually means trompe l’oeil and overt kitsch. Not when Maria Grazia and Pier Paolo put their creative minds to work! With optimism in the air, the collection brims with enchanting pastel colors and wafts of fabric as light as dreamy clouds. All the sweet softness is countered by chicly sober white collars. They took tone-on-tone dressing to another level (this is not your average monochrome), with a leopard-print pantsuit and striking Kelly green lace, lime peplum looks and hot-pink evening gowns.
Givenchy: With graphic, tribal scarf prints that are not for the faint of heart, the Givenchy woman remains stronger than ever, if not newly revitalized with a new sense of her edgy-glamorous self. She’s in a gypsy mood at the moment, ready to take on her city and explore the world. And she’s still a renegade and a rebel, mixing transfixing patterns with hardened blasts of black, cape-like slits, and warm-weather leather. Or as Tisci himself puts it, the collection is “romantic, with a sharpness.”