And The Living’s Easy. Rosie Assoulin Resort 2023

Rosie Assoulin has you packed for the resort season. What’s in the luggage? The whimsical blue striped taffeta gown with awning-details will do the work in Hamptons. The collection’s hero piece, the transformable rainbow silk gown, is ready for a trip to sun-drenched Capri. Separated into four components, it is, in its full form, a racerback striped dress with a mermaid skirt, but it can also be worn as a bra top and mini skirt, a mini dress, and a bra top and maxi skirt. Assoulin loves convertibility, and says that you can go to a party dressed in the full look and slowly change outfits throughout the evening. The resort 2023 collection was presented just a couple of days ago in Paris – in a flower shop, where else! Watercolour blooms appeared on Rosie’s incredible silk kaftan dress, a lovely pyjama shirt and an unfussy day-dress. Sweet polka-dots covered the red dress with a bustier bodice – this one can be easily pictured worn around Sevilla. Assoulin doesn’t do themes, she rather focuses on instincts and what feels right at the moment. In a troublesome world, a care-free wardrobe of summer-perfect clothes sparks joy.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

NET-A-PORTER Limited

End Of An Era. Etro Men’s SS23 + Resort 2023

It’s end of an era at Etro: with a new creative director appointed, the Italian brand is departing from its family roots. Marco De Vincenzo is taking the lead, and will show his first collection in September. Veronica Etro and Kean Etro waved a good-bye with their last collections: women’s resort and men’s spring-summer 2023. These two line-ups were quintessentially Etro, at its best. For menswear, Kean Etro delights in layering multiple references with the ease that comes not only from experience but from true cultural curiosity. His love of literature and poetry are just some of his many interests, and this season, instead of invitations, he had actors phone each of the show’s hundreds of guests to recite a dedicated poem to each one. It was a gesture of exquisite sensitivity. “Poetry and utopia go hand in hand,” he said backstage before the show. “In its etymology, poetry simply means making, composing. I wanted to give value to the idea of creating, which shouldn’t be separated from utopia.” Quoting Oscar Wilde, he added “there’s no progress in society without utopia.” Following circadian rhythms, looks were presented in circular chromatic cadence, from morning whites through sun-at-the-zenith brights to velvety darks dotted with starry figments. Archetypal in shape – kimonos, kaftans, djellabas, wrap jackets closed by obis 0 it was elevated by what the designer called “a florilegium,” that is a plethora of sparse floral images delicately overprinted with the number 432 Hertz. “It’s the number indicating the frequency of the universe’s good vibration,” said Kean. “It’s the frequency of beauty. It’s like when you charge crystals or bio-dynamic particles with energy – I’ve used it to somehow energize the garments.” The energy-charging ritual may have worked: there was a lively feeling to the collection that propelled it forward, despite the stifling heatwave which made the air feel unnaturally still. Billowy see-through chiffon kaftans and elongated shirts and kimonos in liquid satin were worn open to reveal nude skin, as well as boxing shorts exposing bare legs. The body was perceived through mesh textures, broderie Anglaise inserts, and impalpable silks and linens. The breezy, cultivated Bohemian feel which is the Etro siblings’ signature looked vital and delicate in equal measure.

Meanwhile, for resort 2023, Veronica focused on the classic summer-version of the brand. The label’s staples – the glamorous caftan, the dressing gown duster, the flowy dress – were given a fresh interpretation. The paisley motif was blown up into a vibrant abstract rendition, printed on a long chiffon dress with butterfly sleeves, or onto a masculine bermuda suit, or again on a tight body-con number with an asymmetrical ruffled hem. Punctuating the collection with an artisanal feel, a series of crocheted pieces including an elongated mesh cardi, a handknit knotted-fringed miniskirt, and a show stopping robe/poncho exuded the haute hippy vibe that is trademark Etro. Its free spirited attitude will surely transition into Etro’s new direction.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

NET-A-PORTER Limited

Texture & Shape. Proenza Schouler Resort 2023

In the pre-seasons, the Proenza Schouler duo leans into experimentation. A scroll through Resort 2023 images makes it clear that Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough are strongly attracted to texture and hand-feel. In addition to the innovative spongy sequin knit (“The sequins are baked into the actual yarn itself, so when you knit it up, they’re all embedded. It looks like Lurex, but it’s a beautiful, piece of knitwear“), they used silk velvet for slip dresses and matching sets, a three-dimensional ribbed knit for coordinating cardigans and flares, and a short hair shearling on a belted coat. The saturated colors of the velvet and shearling especially added to their appeal. After texture, their other preoccupation here was shape. It’s tempting to see 1940s proportions in nipped-waist jackets and full skirts whose sculptural hems were reinforced with horsehair. The track pants and frilly ankle socks paired with a different nipped jacket are another, cheekier way to go about it. On the subject of shape, they revisited the corset tops that were the building blocks of their earliest collection. “Old Proenza vibes,” Hernandez said, but updated in suiting fabric for a touch of surprise. And that’s the direction the designers should continue to embrace.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

NET-A-PORTER Limited

CJR And The City. Christopher John Rogers Resort 2023

Joy, pleasure, exuberance. As the world has turned back on post-pandemic, designers have strived to channel those sensations in their clothes. For Christopher John Rogers, all that seems to come quite naturally. He sprang down the New York runway, leaping and pirouetting and soaking up his standing ovation. This was Rogers’s first IRL show in over two years. So backstage after the show there was a feeling of making up for lost time. Rogers exchanged hugs, wiped away tears, and posed with what looked like all 55 of his models. Of his collection, he said, “I wanted to say that everything can exist together, everything makes sense if you will it to. I like the idea of multiplicity and that so many things through one specific scope can shine.” Karlie Kloss kicked things off in a purple coat, whose oversized, double-breasted proportions were extroverted in the extreme. Tailoring played a starring role, but Rogers is agnostic about silhouette. Single-breasted pantsuits exuding masculine swagger mixed with other more feminine shapes boasting dropped lapels, back gathers and drapes, and, in a couple of cases, pantaloons. He cut trenches in bold floral prints, whose colors were picked up in bright shearling dusters. Even without the benefit of runway shows Rogers has made some of the most clockable fashion of the last couple of years. That’s down to his extraordinary color sense and eye for graphic pattern, both of which were on ample display in this collection’s array of striped knits, which he juxtaposed in more-is-more fashion with checkerboard separates. From start to finish, this show brought the drama, but there are a few special numbers worth mentioning. Among them: a floral print 1930s-ish tea dress and a gown in madras plaid silk shantung. And here’s betting he’s already getting calls for the bustier dress with a sunflower yellow bodice and wide horizontal stripes of coral, fuchsia, and citrine circling its ball skirt.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

NET-A-PORTER Limited

Tabula Rasa. Chloé Resort 2023

To create a responsible brand in the 2020s entails more than choosing sustainable materials and cutting down on manufacturing and shipping costs. As Gabriela Hearst, the creative director of Chloé sees it, building awareness into the marketing plan is part of the process. “The problems fashion has are the problems that all industries have,” she said. “The world’s energy supply is 85% from fossil fuels, and if we don’t eliminate that situation we’re really walking into suicide. All these alternate energy sources – wind power, solar panels – don’t have the capacity.” Fusion, Hearst explained, could make up the difference as we wean ourselves off of oil. “In a nutshell,” she said, “fusion is how stars are made. It’s the energy that moves the universe.” She promised “a much bigger experience of it,” at the Paris show in September. Here, the fusion lesson consisted of broderie anglaise and laser cut leather in the form of stars and a night sky palette of strictly black and white, save for a single red dress with a scoop neck and full poet sleeves. She credited Joel Cohen’s recent adaptation of The Tragedy of Macbeth for the corset shape of dresses accented with knotted leatherwork evocative of medieval chainmail, and leather jackets and vests patchwork paneled like armor. The novelties this season were twofold. First, she collaborated with Barbour, the British outerwear company renowned for its waxed jackets, on a trench ruffles details and on a poncho, a shape she has a soft spot for. The denim corset dress, duster coat, button-front vest, and a-line skirt are the results of a project Hearst dreamed up with the California jeans expert Adriano Goldschmeid. They’re composed of 87% recycled cotton and 13% hemp; that’s an earth-friendly equation. The only thing that Heart could work on – and that’s something she started last season – is her aesthetical direction for Chloé. Should this brand really be all about minimalism? Monastic and prim? There’s no need for another Jil Sander or The Row.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

NET-A-PORTER Limited