The year-end fashion season evokes happy dreams of far flung holidays


  • Style
  • Wednesday, 03 Nov 2021

In the fashion world, you don’t have to step on a plane to travel halfway around the world. Photo: Dior

Cruise, otherwise known as Resort or Holiday, is the fashion season for designers to channel their inner wanderlust. Collections often bring to mind exotic locations – with runway shows travelling around the globe too.

While the previous year’s were largely muted, in respect to the Covid-19 situation, this time, they are back and bolder than ever.

The Cruise collections – which drop in-store come November and stay on-sale until the following June, were originally meant for those who plan to head abroad as winter sets in, but now they offer a preview of what’s to come for the Spring/Summer season.

Instead of flying guests to places like Havana, Kyoto, Marrakech, Rio De Janeiro and more, labels unveiled their designs mostly in Europe or online this year.

Yet, the clothes still evoke that wonderful feeling of freedom.

Emilio PucciEmilio PucciIn the fashion world, you don’t have to step on a plane to travel halfway around the world. All you need to do is to pick out an outfit that jogs your imagination – and not necessarily of a specific location too.

Think of it more as evoking the lifestyle you are yearning for: beach, countryside or bustling city.

But if you do indeed have a country in mind, you can always find a suitably inspired collection. It is this form of escapism that fashion brings to our lives – and the Cruise 2022 season rightfully delivers.

Cruise control

Travel restrictions are easing, but it will probably take some time before people start flying around the world en masse for vacations again. But that did not stop Emilio Pucci from going on a holiday.

The label unveiled a very seaside-inspired collection. If beach-goers wore designer clothes to frolic on the sand, that is.

Nevertheless, they are happy and cheerful, with light, airy pieces making up the bulk. The colours and prints are just right too – pastels evoking a feeling of happiness associated with holiday breaks.

There are also bathing suits and bikinis, paired with taffeta blouses or worn under cropped piumino waistcoats. Easy to wear sundresses, short shifts and bodysuits are paired with miniskirts.

If there is location that comes to mind, it is probably the various islands in Greece. With the warm weather and casual vibe, the Emilio Pucci collection will certainly not look out of place there.

Read more: A look at the post-pandemic makeover of Malaysian fashion and beauty businesses

Moschino channelled optimism for the season too. The collection was presented in a fashion film, a third from the label.

Supermodel Karen Elson wore different designs from the season as she sang and danced, from a technicolour coat to a three-piece tailoring in acid-bright tones and pink-sequined bustier-top dress.

The overall scene is a retro musical taking place in world as far removed from our current reality. Location-wise though, it was filmed at the legendary Universal Studios lots – hence, the all-American vibe.

Tory BurchTory Burch“I wanted to take the excitement, the glamour, and the whimsy of all the old Hollywood musicals and use them as a vehicle to show this collection,” creative director Jeremy Scott explains.

“This season, it’s all about song and dance! And few things make me happier than when style and cinema collide.”

From the past to the future

Chanel, on the other hand, sought inspiration in Provence. The region in southeastern France is famous for its sunny weather, colourful countryside, tradition, wine, food and language – not to mention being a tourist hotspot.

For creative director Virginie Viard, it is the Carrieres De Lumieres (Quarries Of Light) in Les Baux that set the mood.

As an old quarry made up of three mammoth rooms carved inside a mountain, the location gave the designs a strong contrast. Standout black and white pieces were paraded during the runway show.

While it was still about Parisian chic, the models were styled in a punk manner. Alongside strings of pearls, they sported heavy eyeliner and fierce, slightly messy hairdos. It mirrored the punk reimagination of the fashion house unveiled at the Autumn/Winter 2020 show.

In 1960, poet, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau used the Carrieres De Lumieres as a setting for The Testament Of Orpheus. The film inspired Viard.

“When I came to see the quarry again... I saw that the clothes had to be strong, and black and white. Otherwise we could be in Petra or Egypt. I love ruffles for the couture. But I thought it would not look modern here,” she told Vogue.

For Dior, it is Athens in Greece that set the stage for the Cruise collection. The show was largely attended by local press and clients, a reminder that travel restrictions do still exist in some way or another.

The Panathenaic Stadium, home to the first modern Olympic games in 1896, set a fitting scene.

ChanelChanelDesigns were described as harmonising feminine Greek tradition and modern comfort. You can’t really say it is completely sportswear, but there is a certain tilt towards athleticism in the streamlined cuts.

Maybe, it should be viewed as a post-pandemic pivot to practical dressing instead.

White happens to be the dominant colour. It pays homage to Marlene Dietrich, immortalised in an old photograph while wearing the white dress of Leda, the famous character of Greek mythology.

A return to everyday life

To Kate Spade, the season is about the indulgences of a roaring holiday celebration. Not just any regular one though, a deserving party in New York City.

“To us, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year – and this one feels particularly special as we are able to, finally, get together again. To dance, to hug, to kiss, to laugh, to drink, to dine, and, of course, to dress up,” reads the brand’s statement.

With the year-end in sight, think of the New Year’s Eve countdown.

Ready-to-wear is seen focusing on both the joy and ease of dressing up again, with each piece being as easy as the loungewear everyone has been finding comfort in. Easy to move in, work in, dance in.

All that party dressing is still balanced with a dose of casual essentials. Dresses continue to be key, as are separates and coats.

Read more: Cool, quirky and trendy, menswear roars back to life for Autumn/Winter 2021

Tory Burch sends a similar message of renewal and hope. That said, the label welcomes clothes for all occasions – to be worn at any time and not restricted to just one function or style.

What is being offered is more casual silhouettes, which can make it easier for women to wear the pieces as they like. There is no one way to style a Tory Burch jacket this season, for example.

There is a black-and-white skirt with an adjustable length and volume. Not to forget, the ingenious detachable collars or removable accent bows. Some designs are even reversible, making them extremely versatile.

“I’ve really thought a lot about it: How do you use different silhouettes in different ways to make things easier?” the American designer herself was quoted as saying by Vogue.

And in a world so vastly changed, how can one turn down help? Whether we can freely travel or not, freedom – and how we style ourselves, is still a state of mind.

“Women still love fashion and want to make it their own. Helping them on that journey? I’m getting more and more into that,” Tory pointed out.

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