Erdem and the Trance of Time

by Cara Livingstone

flowery jacquard textiles and embroideries soaked in intricacy, the ’40s tea dresses whimsical in their artistry and the powder puff–feathered boas and jackets are all part of Erdem's signature now. The London-based Turkish born designer is one of the most sought after and beloved designers of our time and with each collection he defines what it is to be a global sensation. His ability to weave beyond the realm of trends and transcend fashion into heirloom territory has made him a master of his craft. And this collection is a testament to his ability to remain at the top of his game. 

 

Built on Eileen Gray with Max Mara

Cara Livingstone

Ian Griffiths of Max Mara is not unfamiliar with the history of feminism. His latest collection finds inspiration in the life of  Eileen Gray, a female architect of the early 20th century, who broke the glass ceiling and blazed a trail through her own for a generation of female architects. Her subtle yet exquisite style is the perfect prototype for Max Mara and its philosophy. The marinière stripe knits provides the foundation for this collection and the dignified style is sure to be popular with woman of a certain class and quality. 

Balmain and the Natural High of Francophiles

by Linda Bezos

Olivier Rousteing is hot right now. Everything he touches turns to gold. The highly anticipated makeup line of Balmain (debuting in September) is just another commercial achievements Balmain has ticked off in the last few years. Commercial success aside, Balmain's collection have gotten more and more artistic and avant-garde and that speaks volumes about the genius of Olivier's vision. The resort collection is the exuberant extension of Balmain's pro-France line and by the looks of it, it is likely to be commercially as successful as any Balmain line. 

Givenchy and the Colors of Transition

by Clara Thomas 

Claire Keller took over the role of Givenchy's artistic director right before this collection came to fruition but those of us who were seeking a peek into the future was duly notified that this collection is a product of the design team and the artistic director has not fully settled into her role yet. So this collection is a transitional collection but that being said, the design teams at Givenchy are no slouches, as they produced a collection full of vigor, color, and verve. This the singular tones may come across as a bit too structured, they do provide a very strong foundation for Claire to experiment and move this iconic brand forward. 

Piazza Sempione and the Rise of Italian Minimalism

by Linda Bezos 

Piazza Sempione is the epitome of fusion. A fusion of minimalism and a  sense of grandeur. PS's new pre-fall/ resort collection stands exactly where it needs to, in between functionality and elaborate expressionism. The Milanese house exudes a certain level of Scandinavian minimalism that is not very common within the confines of the Italian darling brands. This collection with its short trapeze-line tennis dress complemented by black piping, a scuba jersey, and a blue pleated shirtdress with an elongated waistline provides a holistic approach to minimalist aesthetics. While by definition that might seem like an oxymoron, the reality is the fine line between chic' and functional is being towed by the team at Piazza Sempione and it is a sight to behold.  

Paco Rabanne and the Fiction of Functionality

by Olivia Moreau 

It's blistering in Paris. The heat is further exasperated by the visual of pre-fall clothing from many formidable names in fashion, but not Paco Rabanne. Julien Dossena's ability to conjure up small yet intrinsic change to details makes this connection a sight for sore eyes and weary heat stricken body. So much so that the see-now-buy-now model seems fully workable even in this Parisian heat. Fluid knit mesh tops, arching tanks, and low-slung skirts are all part of this subtle narrative of movement and functionality while remaining true to it's core philosophy. Paco Rabanne looks, feels formidable and sporty, functional and forward thinking and we could not ask for a better pre-fall/resort set. 

Orla Kiely and the Monarchy of Prints

by Samantha Mitten

Orla Kiely does everything. She started off as a hat designer, moved on to kitchenware, handbags, and clothes. She is often considered the queen of prints and having her face on a postage stamp in Ireland only adds to the aura of invincibility and class, Orla's work exudes. 

This pre-fall collection is a testament to Orla's strengths. While it is nowhere near as legendary as her kitchenware, her fashion work remains of high caliber with a hint of whimsy. The prints are there to gush over, the silhouettes are there to ponder, but ultimately what makes this collection worth buying into both literally and figuratively is Orla's ability to craft fashionable, functional wear out which is playful and ingenious at its core. Yet that playfulness is subtle in the form of long skirts and dresses that are foundationally old-school but bears the hyper-modern aesthetics of Orla's prints. 

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Lemlem and the Stripped Goodness of Globalization

by Linda Bezos

Liya Kebede knows her stripes and by the looks of it, she also knows what her customers want as well. The new iteration of Lemlem's resort collection suggests an astute understanding of consumer mood and an appealing sense of aesthetics that fits in quite well in hot summers that precede mild winters in most fashion capitals. With the help of Ethiopian weavers and Indian seamstresses, Lemlem is forging ahead with the aesthetics of light and summery with a few distinctive twists. The stripes and the kaleidoscopic patterns enhance a sense of whimsy within the collection while maintaining a hint of extraordinary and functional. In a world of athleisure and couture, Lemlem fits right in the middle. 

Aquilano Rimondi and the Joy of Symmetry

by Olivia Moreau
 

For Resort 2018, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi take inspiration from Joan Mirò's paintings  The incorporations of  graphic connections and primary colors often in contrast, characterize the vertical bands that outline the silhouette, emphasizing the duality in movement and static.

The puffy sleeves and ribbon revers, with asymmetrical cuts exude sensuality in hammered slipped crêpe, while sticking the DNA of minimalism. Experimentation with colors and stripes pays off as every single piece has a story to tell. 

 

 

Alena Akhmadullina and the Postcards from Russia

by Lotus Ladegaard 

Alena Akhmadullina has ruled the runways of Russia for many years with intricate embroidery and furs fused with a touch of Russian folklore. She has a strong Russian celebrity following but has also made her presence known on the international red carpets where stars like Eva Green and Naomi Campbell have worn her creations.

Alena Akhmadullina’s usual dark and mythic colour palette fused with heavily embellished fabrics are not for everyone, however, her 2018 Resort Collections shows great restraint and offers pieces that are much more likely to appeal to the European market, although, it might still be a bit too much for some.

For her 2018 Resort Collection, Alena Akhmadullina’s colour palette consisted mostly of fresh and light colours, bright yellow, royal blue and black. The silhouettes were somewhat expected and a little dated, but overall rather nice. The embellishments were pretty, although rather heavy at times. The collection ranged from shirt-dresses to outerwear and also offered many separates, which seems like a smart choice given her rather busy aesthetics.

The bright yellow shirt dress stood out as a stylish look paired with light blue boots and a box-bag. The green coat with floral embellishments was another favorite and has tons of editorial appeal. The simple cream colour coat would also suit many wardrobes. The little box-bags featured with many of the looks enjoy a certain versatility which you usually do not associate with AA. Overall the collection seems more inclusive, more mature and definitely worth a closer look.

Christopher Kane and the Dreams of Glasgow

by Lotus Ladegaard

Christopher Kane is all about the chic'. His signature design of innovation, rebellious femininity and sense of surprise has excited the world of fashion since 2006. He is a master at turning the ordinary into extraordinary, he knows how to embrace both the traditional with the contemporary, the timeless with the ephemeral and the sleek with the subversive. His unique take on exquisite technical textile and shapes has seduced many fashionistas around the world. Christopher Kane has found inspiration in Glaswegian architecture, furniture, and fabrics of Charles Rennie Macintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh for his 2018 Resort collection. With permission to shoot his lookbook at the exclusive setting of the Mackintosh masterpiece; Hill House in Helensburgh, he has created an exquisite and exclusive narrative.

Christopher Kane’s 2018 Resort collection offers plenty of chic' and frilly knitwear pieces, tartan skirts, fuzzy jackets and beautiful evening gowns that all somehow fit the setting just perfectly. The little white lace biker jacket has the DNA of his previous collections. The delicate dress with white top and blush lace skirt moves the envelope forward. Its innovative and contemporary shape matched with old world lace is a classic Christopher Kane fusion. The Mackintosh influence is not only found in the setting, but the Scottish designer has incorporated Margaret Macdonald’s stylized snakehead drawing as an embroidery on several pieces. Christopher Kane never holds back in expressing his vision, sometimes that can be visually exhausting, but sometimes it is just right. 

 

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Carolina Herrera's Secret Garden

by Erika Heinlein

Carolina Herrera has been an ever-present fixture in the world of fashion for the last three decades. And judging by the looks of the pre-fall/resort collection that is unlikely to change. This collection is an homage to her ancestral Venezuelan gardens. The flowy, flowery mix and match revolution is perfectly encapsulated in this collection of breezy gowns and taffetas. The alluring stripes complemented by summer induced fall colors is a joy to look at and even more fun wearing. It is a collection that exudes a sense of freedom that her home country has not seen in a while, but as all good artists she has created a collection of a better time or a future that is worth looking forward to. 

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French Riviera and the Chill of Akris

by Olivia Moreau 

What do Alpha Women wear during their non-alpha days? It is likely they are wearing Akris. Albert Kriemler constructs this collection while paying homage to the french riviera. From t-shirts soaked in red to the whimsical sway of black evening dresses are all part of that casual yet put together look Akris is pushing this resort collection. 

Nina Ricci and the Dreamscapes of Drama

by Sofia Boyce 

Guillaume Henry of Nina Ricci took a page (no pun intended) out of literature and 18th-century theater to find inspiration for Ricci's new collection. The stock characters in these plays with their mute yet elaborate existence are all too present in this rather whimsical collection.   If commedia dell’arte is the DNA then surely the oversized flexibility of the clothes are the legs that move this collection. While it is hard to imagine how successful this would be commercially, the whimsy and the levity of this collection are worth gushing over. The dramatic shapes overwhelm the senses in some situation but ultimately comes out as fun and functional with a hint of theater. It is a collection not for the faint hearted, neither it is a collection for the most audacious, but in between that those of us enjoy levity in our clothes and history on our shoes, this is a collection worth getting into.    

Luisa Beccaria and the Sirens of Femininity

by Lucia Chianese

Luisa Beccaria is the epitome of ethereal femininity. The pre-fall/resort collection does not veer away from the levity of such lightness. It fully embraces it. From powder pink to whimsical lavender the clothes were steeped in the romantic notion of femininity. While the fashion world is moving toward more functional clothing with athleisure slowly taking up a lot of the prospective markets, the appeal of Luisa's clothes is undeniable. Sure there was some pretense of functionality but the DNA of the brand is deeply rooted in evocative, bohemian femininity, something that stands out and touches you gently, yet never imposes on the aesthetics. 

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Stella McCartney and the Nostalgia of Adidas

by Linda Bezos

Stella McCartney does not seem like the natural fit for Adidas.  But Stella has never been the one to fit into a box. And by that narrative, it is almost inevitable that she will go beyond the usual avenues of fashion collectives. Her cropped raspberry sweatshirt with orange high-rise leggings and a pair of ’90s-throwback Adidas Climalite slides in neon yellow post-workout looks were a testament to her ability to move through genres with the ease of bold colored yoga pants. Athleisure has a lot of fans and the line between urban wear and athleisure is too blurred to make a distinction anymore and with the rise of Nike and Adidas as purveyors of vintage, this collaboration bodes well for both Stella McCartney and Adidas.     

Fendi and it's Faustian Bargain

by Olivia Moreau

Fendi loves the decadent.  Fendi is decadent. From Ribbon and Pearls to Macramé lace to fil coupé, silk jacquard, 3-D knit, Shibori-inlaid and intarsia mink, and laser-cut eyelet, Fendi unleashed a collection oozing with class and decadence. Decadence not to be mixed with the decadence of Donald Trump's golden toilet or something equally obnoxious and vapid but decadence that appeals and overwhelms our sense of aesthetics casually yet leaves a formative sense of longing. Fendi's collection is uniquely Fendi...free, liberating, expansive, elegant and above all, ahead of the curve. 

Isabel Marant and the Tightrope of Athleisure

by the Editorial Staff

Pre-fall is a curious time for designer houses. It's neither here nor there. So pre-fall has become a far more experimental avenue to promote what is already in the pipeline for fall. Isabel Marant understands that very well and in many ways, her pre-fall collection is a collection that is seasonless. The clever, the chic' and above all the Parisian philosophy behind these clothes are what makes them so evocative and worthy of a double take. The skin tight pants to blazers to leggings make this collection a testament to Isabel's ability to find equipoise between leisure and athletic without going overboard into athleisure territory. 

Oscar de la Renta and the Pursuit of Equipoise

by Samantha Mitten

Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia has a tough job, while maintaining their own sense of aesthetics they had to incorporate the substantial history of Oscar de la Renta into their collection. And if the palettes of citrusy orange and palm greens and the tropical prints and jacquards are any indication of how they are doing then it is safe to say they are doing quite well. Maintaining the classic silhouettes of OdlR while adding splashes of their own genius was the consistent theme in this years collection. While they are still in their infancy in terms of being creative co-heads at OdlR, they are building a strong foundation that may very well push OdlR in the right direction. 

The Vendetta of Color with Bottega Veneta

by the Editorial Staff

Tomas Maier came into the Resort collection/ Pre-fall collection to bridge the gap between two major collections. And while some designers may find that process tedious and necessary and inevitable distraction, Bottega Veneta approaches this collection with the utmost clarity and professionalism. From the burgundy napa coat with analogue fastening on wide-billowed pockets to the printed butterflies clamoring for attention were both products of a designer who knows what he wants and knows how to get there. Not all resort/Pre-fall collections are meant to be substantive as they are still viewed as bridge clothes, something to hold you up til the real collection pops up, but Bottega Veneta has shown to be a master at holding you up with the same intensity and whimsy as if all collections are equal.