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For Chanel’s cruise collection, Karl Lagerfeld brought the house’s signature tweed suits and embellished LBDs to the far east. The up-and-coming city of Seoul to be exact. For both creative and business purposes, Karl’s choice of destination was extremely wise. Seoul provided him with plenty of fantastical inspirations; ranging from the city’s traditional heritage all the way to its forward-thinking culture. The K-Pop youth movement, a cutting-edge music phenomenon, is a colorful and vibrant wonderland, on which Lagerfeld’s creative genius could roam free. This inspiration infused with style cues from ancient Korean garb resulted in a perfect culmination of the old and the new- just like Maison Chanel itself. The angular cut of a cropped, white pussy-bow blouse or the neon splashes of color across a modernist interpretation of the Hanbok (the South Korean equivalent of a Kimono) are what keep the Chanel front row so deeply varied. Karl’s collections always have the whimsy that keep the new band of it-girls and trendy influencers enamored with the label, but also maintain the sartorial elegance that the original members have been buying into since the beginning. Asian markets are the majority supporters of luxury brands and Chanel is at the top of their list. By bringing a bit of the Parisian experience to his Korean clientele, Karl was able to show them his appreciation. Once again, Monsieur Lagerfeld managed to put the very essence of a city into an ultra-chic and imaginative collection. In which direction will his artistic vision take us next? Wherever Karl goes, the world follows.
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This season, Nicolas Ghesquière, creative director of Louis Vuitton, took his loyal posse across the Atlantic to Palm Springs, California. His cruise show took place at the famed Bob Hope estate, which coincidentally served as inspiration for the collection. This $25 million marvel was the perfect backdrop to Vuitton’s Cali-cool clothes. With its luxurious greenery and awe-inspiring views of the valley, the Bob Hope estate helped us envision a dream vacation complete with a dream wardrobe. Ghesquière explained that the contradiction between the mansion’s brutalist architecture and its sumptuous interiors compelled him to create with both femininity and edginess in mind. The designer’s words came to life in the form of a slit maxi skirt paired with a fringe-hem crop top, printed short-shorts worn with an a-symmetrical blouse, and a silk bomber jacket over chic sweatpants. Unlike Chanel’s pop-art explosion, Louis Vuitton’s latest wears brought out the more natural, care-free side of resort. The color palette consisted of rich earth tones, which lent a soothing feeling to the collection. Nicolas Ghesquière also made good use of Vuitton’s leather malletier. Cow hide may seem an unlikely fit for summer getaways, but when expertly used in fresh silhouettes, leather can be quite soft. Thanks to Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton is turning out innovative collections with a new-found air of youthfulness. Resort 2016 proved that magical moments happen when the French head West.
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Instead of completely uprooting an entire maison to an unfamiliar and uncomfortable location, Raf Simons decided to hold his resort collection for Dior a little closer to home. The designer’s venue of choice? None other than Le Palais Bulles: Pierre Cardin’s stunning home in the glamorous beach city of Cannes, France. Bulles, which appears to be a giant cluster of brick bubbles, was an expertly chosen show space because it mirrored the whimsical attitude of Raf’s clothes. Although Dior is one of the most prestigious and traditional houses in existence, Simons always injects his own minimalist flavor into each ensemble. For resort, Dior’s signature architectural shapes remained completely intact, but revamped with somewhat of a modern nonchalance. The Bar jacket, Dior’s iconic nipped waist and full skirt silhouette, is a key design element that Raf has put on hold in his recent collections. Resort 2016 thankfully saw the return of the Bar, but this time around, Simons updated it with vibrant plaids, metallic minis, and abstract florals. The ironically chic idea of coupling a marvelous suit with a pair of haute flip-flops or draping a fur scarf over a knitted jumper is just the type of creative thought that has transformed the house of Dior into a sartorial mecca for cutting-edge couture. Sophisticated and youthful, classic and avant-garde, Christian Dior and Raf Simons: all contradictory elements, but when combined, sheer beauty.