Take a holiday in the best of resort's warm-weather looks. By Ryan Haase
resort_collageBack 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 Rather than make these gals unearth out-of-date silhouettes, designers began sketching resort collections, incongruously sunny mid-winter capsules just perfect for traversing the tropics.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
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
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.
Erin Fetherston
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.
Vena Cava
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.
Jason Wu
The woman in Jason Wu's clothing probably won't go kicking through sand. She'll either wear one of his diaphanous dresses to a destination wedding, or glam up for the office in some of the tailored and cinched separates.
Jenni Kayne
Despite the close, prim cut of Jenni Kayne's pieces, there's a refreshingly relaxed appeal, as though they were quickly cobbled on after running away from an advancing tide.
Hanii Y
Hanii Y's designer may be heading east, but her resort collection could cover every girl staying in Los Angeles for the winter. Among the impressive range of sophisticated looks are enough slouchy blouses, starched skirts, and showpiece jackets to last well into spring.
Thread Social
Thread Social's resort collection is all about drinking cocktails in a cabana with luminous printed-silk dresses that will glimmer beautifully as the sun sets over the ocean.
Zero Maria Cornejo
Zero Maria Cornejo's circles, squares, and triangles float around the body like clouds, darting in here and there to reveal the woman underneath. The bold ombres and color blocks looked like they washed ashore, and Cornejo smartly soaked them up.
Take a holiday in the best of resort's warm-weather looks.

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