Cruise Control
B HIVE - Bianca Salonga (The Philippine Star) - February 8, 2015 - 12:00am

Resort or Cruise collections are always immediately associated with travel and frolicking in exotic shores. As the terms suggest, these collections were initially created to cater to ultra-wealthy individuals who often jet-set to warmer destinations during the peak of winter.

Presented between the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer shows, the Cruise collections were shown to VIPs at smaller and intimate venues (sometimes even in showrooms) where the mood was more look-book and straight-forward than fashion spectacle.

Today, Cruise collections have become one of the most important presentations for fashion houses. Staying on the selling floor longer than any other season (starting in October all the way through spring), Resort pieces appeal to individuals who seek a wardrobe update after the drab winter months, but are not exactly ready to indulge in full on Spring/Summer looks just about yet. Cruise, as opposed to being all about travel in the past, is now all about transitioning from one season to another. Essentially, these collections are characterized by its versatility and adaptability, making the pieces worthy investments especially when talking about luxury labels. They are usually lightweight, easy to pack and can take one from Winter Wonderland to the Land of Eternal Sunshine. Individually, these pieces can also be mixed and matched such that the wearer is able to create a variety of looks depending on season and destination. As designer Derek Lam explains, Cruise clothes are “clothes that can be whatever you want them to be. They take you from October to spring of the following year.” 

The once low-key Cruise shows that were exclusive only to a select few have similarly garnered more attention in recent seasons with large brands like Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton taking the lead. Compared to the big shows where herds of fashion critics and observers crowd in fashion capitals like Paris, Milan and New York, the Cruise shows are less predictable and more dynamic such that each show can literally take on any form imaginable and can happen anywhere around the globe.

At Chanel, for instance, a deserted island in Dubai was installed with water and electricity to pave the way for over 1,000 guests. The venue had been transformed into Lagerfeld’s rendition of East-meets-West, past-meets-future and real-meets-fake. In sync with Lagerfeld’s fantasy world were pieces that gave homage to Paul Poiret’s exoticism. And while one cannot ignore the dominant Middle Eastern elements as in the case of Aladdin slippers and jodhpur, there was a clever integration of beading with geometry and structure as well as new-fangled treatment to the label’s signature tweeds. 

Meanwhile, Monaco was the choice destination for Louis Vuitton’s Cruise show, which coincided with the yearly Grand Prix F1 Race. For the second show for its new creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s Cruise collection was comprised of highly embellished pieces, covering a full range from furs to jersey, befitting a transition wardrobe. In contrast to his stark pieces of last season, the Resort offerings from Louis Vuitton focused on a light play of textures through embellishments, patchwork and beadwork.  

Admittedly, fashion houses are paying greater attention to the Cruise collections as they easily cover 70 percent of the total revenue from their ready-to-wear business. The presentations have definitely gone bigger and more pivotal, taking place in other destinations that each brand deems fit for the latest fashion proposition. Fashion houses also find that pieces from the Cruise collections are ideal for the temperatures in emerging markets in the Middle East, Brazil, Southeast Asia and South America where their market growth is most significant. Style denizens from these areas are always more than happy to shell out several thousands for that adorable resort dress by their favorite    labels as they are fit for their local climate all year long. 

Will the pace and face of Fashion Week change anytime soon? It probably will and it just might entail refreshing trips outside of the style capitals to catch the Cruise shows.

 

Photography by RXANDY CAPINPIN, assisted by DIEGO LEE • Styling by JEFF GALANG • Makeup and hairstyling by HANNA PECHON of Shu Uemura • Model: ANN CASAS of Mercatorc

AT CHANEL COLLECTIONS CRUISE DEREK LAM DIOR AND LOUIS VUITTON FASHION FASHION WEEK LOUIS VUITTON
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