Flowing. Saint Laurent Resort 2023

Anthony Vaccarello is staying close to the obsession he’s been evolving lately at Saint Laurent: the super-chic and ultra-elegant flowing, languid, maxi silhouettes. The silk skirts are floor-sweeping, the boxy coats are long, the eveningwear is all about the body-clinging column. For resort 2023 (which serves as a sweet entrée to the fabulous spring-summer 2023 fashion show collection), all the YSL-isms are here, but adjusted because Vaccarello has that ineffable way of remaking their proportions to feel totally right for the moment we’re in. Like the draped cocktailania of Monsieur Saint Laurent’s ’80s and ’90s reinvented into tiny dresses and just as tiny bodysuits. Vaccarello has been busy perfecting his drapery style for some time now. What else resonates here, what gets that eye fixated on the proceedings, is how this collection tackles the twin pillars that the house of Saint Laurent was built on, the mid-century couture-era codes of tailleur and flou, that are the very guiding principles of French fashion. Vaccarello gives the collision of those two approaches a very distinctly personal spin: gorgeously frothy chiffon dresses, with flouncing hems come with cabans embellished with blowsy blooms, or beaten-up leather bomber jackets. Heritage, tradition, and craft, but handled with a snap and crackle. This is an example of really good in fashion in 2023.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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Bling Bling. Area Resort 2023

A proper dose of bling-bling and show-girl-attitude keeps the doctor away. For all that, go to Area. Piotrek Panszczyk and his team began thinking about the label’s resort collection from a very literal place – the word resort itself. “If you look through history at people like Yves Saint Laurent, Ungaro, Jean Paul Gaultier, there’s always this idea of going back to a marinier, a rope, an anchor…these symbolic tropes, basically,” he said. “We wanted to dissect these ideas and kind of turn them on their head“. He chose the mussel (“something quite erotic and not really glamorous”) as his starting point, because it reminded him of hometown. “I was raised in Holland, on the Belgium border and that area has a really big mussel-fishing industry,” he explained. He cast the mussel shells in metal and paired them together in a floral pattern that adorned skimpy glamazon-ready bras, bustiers, and bodysuits. They are highly editorial pieces ready to be photographed for magazines and record covers. Garments that are 100% Area. Although his sculptural pieces are certainly works of art, his “more approachable” pieces carry just as much of his energy. Like the pink leather car coat decorated with laser cutouts and embellished with the metal mussel flowers, which manages to be both practical and completely fantastical, and a black column gown whose bodice is draped to resemble two mussel shells, trimmed in crystals. He also cut and quilted leather to resemble mussel shells, which he whipped into a mini skirt (shown with a matching mussel-shell-flower bra, of course). Also successful were explorations around rope, which resulted in intricately constructed tailored pieces – squiggly strips of fabric cut and hand-woven to look like strands of material wrapping around each other – that showed off Panszczyk’s talent. In an open-work coat done in Area’s signature houndstooth print in contrasting shades of black and pink, it hinted at the demi-couture the label is known for; in white crepe, it was a sexy-yet-easy dress suitable for red carpets and parties alike. “If you look at our brand, it evolves, but it never really changes, you know?” Panszczyk said. “Some of these techniques are actual couture techniques that we began exploring during our first show, and no one ever thought we could actually commercialize them, but it’s because we did it like nine times after that. It takes a lot of research and development.” He continues, “I love to see them used in major pieces, but I really love them also in utility pieces; when we can have an amazing denim that can actually be in the closets of a way-broader group of people. It doesn’t really say anything about our creativity, it says something about the way we see our business growing.

Check out some of my favourite Area bling-blings, ready to kick off the festive season:

Area Cropped Embellished Denim Top

Area Strapless Draped Sequined Tulle Mini Dress

AREA Cropped Open-back Embellished Cotton Top

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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P.S. In this post, I happen to endorse products I genuinely love. If you end up buying something through the links, my site might earn an affiliate commission – which is always nice!

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Reality Through Play. Marni Resort 2023

Please pardon my blog absence – first had a very busy schedule, and then, just like that, Miss ‘Rona hit me. Slowly, but steadily, after a couple of days living in another dimension, I’m returning to reality. The Marni resort 2023 collection feels like a sweet thing to look at first. In keeping with his increasingly radical practice, with its implicit critique of today’s fashion system, Francesco Risso is taking the concept of collaboration to the next level at the Italian brand. He’s doing so not just by testing the perimeter between fashion and art, but also by questioning the boundaries of authorship. Risk-taking is obviously included in such a journey, but Risso seems to enjoy meeting the challenges head-on. And what’s more fearless than luring into Marni’s inner sanctum not a fellow designer, as other brands are doing, but a true artist – and a painter, no less? This see-now, buy-now resort collection marked the inception of this new direction, with Flaminia Veronesi taking up a long term role at the label. Risso introduced Veronesi, a longtime friend whose imaginative allegorical drawings have true affinity with the sensibility he has introduced at Marni. “We are connected by a similar way of dealing creatively with reality through play,” she explained, “a play which happens through tactility, is activated by the touch of the hand, and which is expressive of a feminine, no-gender ingenuity bringing us back to our instinctual, creatural side.” Risso chimed in: “In the path towards the definition of Marni, the backbone for me has always been the concept of play, so it seemed natural that Flaminia’s vision opened doors onto landscapes where we share the same delight in exploring the simple, childlike playfulness I believe is crucial to shaping Marni’s aesthetic.” Risso and Veronesi’s interaction feels as smooth as one of her swirling, fluid drawings of aquatic creatures, which have been transposed for resort onto bias-cut dresses, oversized cargos, low-slung trousers, and jumpers. But beyond the obvious visual appeal of their ‘creatures,’ what Risso wanted to highlight is how the new integrated practice serves to add integrity to the items they’re creating. “I did not invite Flaminia to just make a couple of drawings to print on a series of disposable hoodies,” he explained. “There’s too much fake creativity around, plastered surreptitiously onto zillions of products. What I want to achieve is an authentic, generative artistic partnership which makes us both grow, and which adds intrinsic value even to the less visually conspicuous items of a collection. All the hyper-branded, status-driven logoed products out there reveal such poverty of thought, it’s an appalling way of depleting our work as creatives of any meaning.” The collaboration with Veronesi has triggered a counterintuitive stripping-down approach to the hybridized flamboyance of previous Marni collections. For resort, silhouettes had a clarity and purity that only enhanced by contrast the poetic intensity of the prints based on Veronesi’s drawings. Even the clashing-striped knitwear looks had a more streamlined energy to them. For now, Risso is keen on keeping shapes, volumes, and decorations from overwhelming the personality of the wearer. Maximizing self-expressive potential through reworked classics is what he’s after. That said, “I’m not a minimalist in the least,” he concluded. “Quite the contrary.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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La Famiglia. Emilio Pucci Resort 2023

The resort 2023 line-up is Camille Miceli‘s next, bold chapter of Emilio Pucci‘s revival. The designer has already proven that she has a natural affinity for the brand, sharing a penchant for expressive style, glamour, joie de vivre, and a flair for travel. Tying all this together for Miceli is the idea of La Famiglia, the tight-knitted Italian lifestyle which is a kind of precursor to today’s widespread concept of community. “For me Pucci evokes a family of people spending time together, to enjoy life, parties, and well-being.” The cross-seasonal collection covered a wide-ranging spectrum of pleasurable activities – weekends on the slopes, sun-kissed holidays in seaside destinations, celebrations, and various moments of day/night fun. Miceli wants the travel-loving, generations-spanning Pucci famiglia to be dressed not only to impress, but to express the self-confidence and lust for life with which she herself is abundantly imbued. The lineup reads as a flexible, adaptable proposition, festive and mood-lifting as well as suited for an efficient, fast-paced everyday life. Miceli worked a round, egg-shaped silhouette inspired by the swirls of the blown-up archival prints she has reinterpreted. Short padded nylon puffers, midriff-baring drop-shaped foulard tops, and patineuse swinging miniskirts and blouses with ballooning sleeves all conveyed the slightly trippy roundness of Pucci’s curlicued motifs. Counterbalancing the bold all-over-printed effect, Miceli introduced optic white and deep black as eye-soothing alternatives, playing with cool proportions and alternating silhouettes, either voluminous or form-fitting. Archival stripes were a new introduction, as was gold leather, which highlighted the bold glamour Miceli is after. It was particularly appealing rendered in a shiny patchworked bolero, worn by Malgosia Bela, who was part of an age-diverse cast of beauties, whose undisputed queen was the rarely photographed, camera-shy Doris Brynner. “I’m so proud and honored she accepted to do it for us,” said a delighted Miceli, who surely scored high in having such an age-defying legend join the ever-growing Pucci famiglia.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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Simplicity. Bottega Veneta Resort 2023

Bottega Veneta‘s resort 2023 collection feels like a toned-down transition point between Matthieu Blazy‘s debut collection and the sophomore outing we’ve seen last September. The designer approached the inter-season offering in a practical way. “We wondered, what do we want to wear ourselves? How can we make clothes that are cool and at the same time the ultimate luxury? It’s no big concept,” he continued. “It was really the idea of making beautiful clothes that we want to wear. At the end it’s about looking cool and looking beautiful.” In his first two seasons as the creative director at Bottega Veneta, Blazy has managed the elusive trick of producing desire, not by over-designing or over-complicating, as often happens in high fashion, but by believing in simplicity, which is resort’s biggest credo. Silhouette is one of Blazy’s key preoccupations. The jacket shoulder proportions of a button-down in pinstriped cool wool, and the mid-century shape of a skirt structured to blossom at the hips, are the highlights. His interest in unexpected forms extends to handbags. The helmet-shaped satchel is inspired by the headgear of Milan’s scooter commuters and is another fun result of the team’s elevation of the everyday. “It was quite a playful exercise,” he said of the work the team did this season. “It felt quite free.” At the same time, Blazy is slowly, steadily crafting his Bottega Veneta language. The denim – Bottega’s latest hit – comes in leather (yes, that mind-blowing, denim-looking-trompe-l’oeil leather) and in actual leather. The brass finish hardware of the Sardine bag has been incorporated as a jewelry detail on a little black dress, and the metal studs that gave movement to Fortuny pleat skirts for fall appear as trim on a bias silk cocktail dress.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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