Article in brief: The author explores the role of resort collections in the industry.
It’s resort season, and designers are giving us an idea of what to expect for the main Summer 2015 collections. The many different collections in fashion can get a little too complicated but to put it simple, cruise collections are placed between the winter and summer season. Though the industry doesn’t make such a fuss about cruise collections as much as it does for the main season’s collection, cruise collection still maintains its significance. The question is, what makes resort (or cruise) so significant that designers go on creating more of it?
“Cruise” is actually derived from collections that designers create for their “jet-set” clients who can wear such clothes for their summer vacation. To a designer, the cruise collection is in some way more limited in terms of creativity, and instead must focus on the clothes being wearable to suit consumer’s tastes, to be extra practical, and with less fuss.
There are designers who take advantage of the cruise collection to reconstruct their artistic vision into a realistic version of the piece. I find that idea to be a little challenging to a designer yet also another way to demonstrate his talents in accordance to whatever’s required by the consumer.
For example, an imaginative designer like John Galliano was particularly focused on designing clothes that more or less pushed beyond pedestrian definitions of wear-ability, usually producing outlandish pieces for Dior back when he used to design for the French house. The same can be said for Alexander McQueen; you never saw what was on the runway being sold in stores. Imagine how dull it would be for them to reinterpret those fabulous creations onto a simple t-shirt or jeans.
In accordance to that, Galliano’s cruise collections for Dior weren’t as popular as the summer’s or the winter’s, mainly because he had to tone it down. I believe that summer collections heavily depend on the success of the cruise collection. After all, if buyers or the press thought that cruise was unpleasant, they would be ruthless with their comments, and might predict a bad outcome for the summer collection. Here, cruise comes into play. It’s all about how the designer can play around with the theme in a relaxed way, while still preserving the brand’s signature.
On the other hand, we have designers like Christopher Bailey (designs for Burberry Prorsum) who take the opportunity to reimagine their runway creations on more practical clothes for the brand’s consumer. Imagine him taking the structure of a lace metallic coat, and recreating it into a user-friendly black cruise version minus the metallic. Bailey’s attempt at restoration was not only an effective route to take, but it also established the fact that Burberry Prorsum’s cruise collections must be watched out for. Who doesn’t want to get their hands on an artistic and classic piece?
“Cruise has become really big business and currently represents the largest part of the spring/summer womenswear buy,” says Laura Larbalestier, Selfridges buying manager for women’s designer-wear in a British Vogue article. “It’s especially key for customers living in the UK as it fills that transitional period from January onwards where people are looking to update their wardrobes but aren’t ready to wear spring collections yet. The cruise woman wears Pucci, Cavalli and Stella, understands dressing for the season and is well travelled.”
I find myself wondering, does cruise keep us, the consumers, coming back for more? The answer is a definite yes. As a shopper, uncovering new patterns about what I like and what I don’t like always come up throughout my lifetime. As of now I am thoroughly interested in transitional pieces; clothes that you can wear for several seasons without having to think if it’s still in trend or not. That’s cruise. Having to wear what you love whenever, wherever.
Reem is a fashion fanatic. She used her talents of critiquing to start a blog called “We Voice Fashion” along with a partner that shares her views on the world of fashion and design. Through her column, she likes to explore fashion in a philosophical way at times.
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