The first shows of the 2023 Resort season showed a contrast of styles and design reference. In difficult times, some designers opted to take inspiration from the past and reminiscences from golden eras and positive memories. For others, fashion mirrored present situations, with challenging collections that reflected the mood of today. A desire to keep collections diverse saw shows split into distinct parts, offering a broader range of pieces designed to appeal to a varied consumer base.
Castle del Monte in Puglia provided a fairy-tale, other-worldly backdrop for Alessandro Michele’s latest Resort outing. Titled Cosmogonies, the collection focused on metamorphosis with garments and bodies seemingly merging, via the use of prosthetics, to become one. Heritage references such as velvet, corset lacing, capes, and Elizabethan ruffs, mingled with galaxy-inspired, crystalline shimmer and glossy, second-skin leathers in a multifaceted display of light and shadow, historic and futuristic.
Chanel’s Resort season spectacle captured the historic glamour of its Monte Carlo location in a playful take on the Monaco Grand Prix. Overalls and all-in-ones inspired by racing driver suits came in the house’s classic tweeds whilst starter flag graphics and conversational prints adorned skirts and dresses. The heritage sporting vibe continued across the collection in the form of cricketing sweaters, biker jackets and shorts. Feminine touches of embellishment, feathers, sequins and silk flower posies revived the alluring beauty of times past.
Eschewing the past and focusing on more current events, Demna’s collection for Balenciaga was staged at the New York Stock Exchange. A commentary on the dark times the world is facing and with a sense of urgency to answer today’s challenges with creative solutions, models were clad in black latex masks for the three-part collection of classic office-inspired tailoring, eveningwear and collaboration with Adidas. Outsized proportions, padded court shoes and exaggerated sportswear silhouettes provided the contrast to second-skin base layers and stretch hoods.