Take a holiday in the best of resort's warm-weather looks. By Ryan Haase
Back in an age when Decembers were cold, the ladies who lunch became ladies that fled. For them, spending the winter in the gray city was an unendurable sentence. Equally distressing, though, was the realization that before they could trot away to some sunbleached coast, they'd have to pack last season's warm-weather wardrobe. Rather than make these gals unearth out-of-date silhouettes, designers began sketching resort collections, incongruously sunny mid-winter capsules just perfect for traversing the tropics.
Nowadays, resort lines aren't only for the aristocracy. Most women may not be pedaling through St. Tropez on a Karl Lagerfeld-designed bicycle, but that doesn't mean they don't get the itch to shop. Many independent labels have picked up on the demand, and now offer their own variations. Some, like Zero Maria Cornejo, use it as an opportunity to rework their ideas from fall. "I had a very graphic and brightly colored collection for Fall," explains Cornejo. "So I faded everything. When I'm on vacation, I like to wear the colors I'm surrounded by; the sand, shells, and the clearest ocean water."
Other designers use the abbreviated season to take flights of fancy, exploring quirky, unconventional realms they otherwise wouldn't get to visit. "We call our Resort 'Celestial Sportswear'," says Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava. Inspired by "Space Is the Place," a 1974 sci-fi movie, "the collection is a combination of an intergalactic pseudo-Egyptian space deity with teenage '70s gear, like collared shirts and wide-leg topstitched pants."
Here's a round-up of some of our favorite resort looks, whether you're taking a cruise to the Caribbean or a water taxi to the Red Hook IKEA.
Chris Benz's resort is full of the brash '80s color so popular in cities today. Even though it'll be cold outside, you'll be glad you slipped on one of his loose blazers when you're melting together with the hundreds of other people crammed into the Bowery Ballroom.
Karen Walker's minidresses start off sleek and posh, perfect for social hour on a yacht. Slowly, though, they untether into a riot of skulls, machine guns, and peace signs.
There's a bit of wonderland fantasy in Erin Fetherston's designs. It's as if a rabbit hole opened up in the middle of a snow-blanketed McCarren Park, and out tumbled all these flowers.
The loungey items in Vena Cava's collection have an odd, mystical intrigue. When the radiator explodes in January, and turns your East Village walk-up into a sweltering rainforest, these are the clothes you should throw on before the sexy repairman arrives.
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