From New York to Copenhagen (and Back). Sea Resort 2020

The Ruth Bader Ginsburg-inspired collars are a sort of signature in Sea‘s free-spirited resort 2020 collection, but not only. The New York-based brand has it all, from over-sized sleeves and prairie dresses to chunky knits and floral tea-dresses. Inspired by Danish style, designers Monica Paolini and Sean Monahan swapped out their usual florals for foulard patterns, adding a new polish to their lineup of city essentials. Paolini said Copenhagen was a major influence. She traveled there last winter and was struck by the way the locals girls layer colors and textures in the winter. The designers are traveling there in August to participate in Copenhagen Fashion Week, which might be a hint: is the brand expanding in Europe?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki; photos by Ana Kras.

Getting Better and Better. Bottega Veneta Resort 2020

It’s been 11 months since Daniel Lee‘s arrival to Bottega Veneta, and it seems he’s there for, like, forever. Throughout this short time, the brand received big love from clients, who never bought at Bottega before. And it seems that the success isn’t solely rooted on the absence of Phobe Philo. Lee and his team prove this in the resort 2020 collection, which is sublime in every aspect, from bags to clothes. Leather accessories, whether in the brand’s signature intrecciato weave or not, are so good. Just look at the wrist-slung, tightly knotted bag in blue or orange strips of soft matte leather, or the sandals in fake snake, which featured three and a half encirclements of leather strip that ran upwards (these worked to cinch Lee’s expertly cut wide-leg pants and were complemented by similarly functioning bracelets). Clothes are a delight, as well. Whether we’re speaking of the draped leather dress in orange worn by Maria Carla Boscono or all the trench coats that appeared in the look-book, it’s a dream wardrobe. Minimalism and top knotch craftsmanship aren’t a novelty, but Bottega Veneta and Salvatore Ferragamo get that balance especially well in Italy today. Better start saving…

All collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Vibrant. Erdem Resort 2020

Erdem’s resort 2020 lookbook was a collaboration with Ibrahim Kamara, a London-based stylist, who’s best pals with Madonna. They worked together with the photographer Sam Rock to create the sense of vibrance, energy and motion in the poses of the girls as they work their typically Erdem floral prints, billowy sleeve and headwraps. There’s more: over-sized bows, printed tights to match dresses, and polka dots (lately favoured by previosly mentioned Madonna, who wears the ones from Erdem while promoting Madame X). What stands out most? The ethereal, yellow gown, all embellished with floral motifs. Just beautiful.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Shanghai. Chloé Resort 2020

The problem with resort collections presented in far-fetched destinations apply to nearly all, from Louis Vuitton’s presentation in New York to Saint Laurent’s menswear show in Malibu. The venue is spectacular; the audience is wowed; the clothes are, well, boring and far from amusing. Angelo Flaccavento, Italian fashion critic, grasps this perfectly: “these days, fashion is more about brand experience and storytelling than clothes, which most of the time are not as exciting as their packaging. The past month of traveling shows was a study in showmanship over clothes-making.” Natacha Ramsay-Levi‘s resort 2020 collection for Chloé was presented in Shanghai, specifically at Long Museum (at sunset). It’s clear the Chloé’s management has ambitions to make the brand stand in row with Dior and Prada. But does this match Chloé’s intimacy, so beloved by its clients? The entire event had to be quite an experience, that’s fur sure. However, the idea of a Chloé show in Shanghai, other than marketing, makes no much sense. Of course, the designer had some subtle references to the location. A lover of Chinese cinema, she had compiled backstage dozens of stills from her favorite movies by Jia Zhangke, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Zhang Yimou, Bi Gan and Lou Yi. Another film, Three Times by Hsiao-Hsien, informed Natacha’s decision to explore China’s rich history, drawing on its empirical eras, the Art Deco period, and its contemporary buzz. The designer’s nods to Chinese culture were conveyed in details: the side buttons on a floral dress that evoked a qipao for instance. Tiny embroideries were inspired by traditional Chinese handwork. Yet still, in general, this was one of the weakest collections coming from the designer, which is quite disturbing. It lacked a ‘look’. The clothes, put separately, with no styling, don’t spark much attention. For pre-collections, Chloé is really, really fine with look-books.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki

Cool As Usual. The Elder Statesman Resort 2020

Greg Chait‘s The Elder Statesman look is signature: a tie-dye top, a slip-dress, a knit (and not just any knit, but a cashmere, hand-woven sweater of the fleeciest texture). Sounds like today’s trendiest street style? Well, Chait was much, much ahead of the fashion crowd when he revived this Calfiornian, dreamy look. The Elder Statesman’s recent collections have touched on topics like self-realization and talismans, which got the designer thinking about life and the fine line between “darkness and light“. “I realized, it’s really like a game,” he said during the New York presentation of his resort 2020 collection. So he dove into how games simulate life, for better or for worse, from Saga and Nintendo circa the ’90s to ancient Indian board games like Snakes and Ladders and Pachisi. This resulted in the silk checkerboard prints, the crewnecks with jacquard stars and gaming symbols, and the very bold color palette. He didn’t go to literal for the theme, and in overall this is a laid-back, cool The Elder Statesman wardrobe we all need.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.