Being a fashion designer in today’s fast-paced world is definitely not a cakewalk. With the number of Fashion Weeks taking place one after the other, the industry’s demands only keep growing. In the midst of all this, comes another, and probably my favourite, fashion week – the Resort Fashion Week. Earlier restricted to the luxury market – women who took off for the Hamptons every Summer or partied on expensive yachts and cruises – resort wear has quickly adapted to become popular with everyone. Sundresses, swimsuits, shorts, tank tops, sheer blouses, and now even gowns – the market has surely grown by leaps and bounds. In fact, Indian designers like Shivan and Narresh have even given resort wear the Indian touch with garments like the Sari Bikini.
Resort Fashion Week 2015 has officially begun and everyone’s eyes have been dying to get a glimpse of Alexander Wang’s latest collection for Balenciaga. Last year, we saw him take inspiration from Cristobal Balenciaga’s coastal town in Spain (Remember Paris Fashion Week S/S ’14?). For this year’s resort wear collection, he took a trip back to the sea and turned to modern sailboats for ideas. “At the beginning, it was about the idea of architectural forms and symmetry, the 360-degree view,” said Wang, “Here, I wanted to work with asymmetry, cutting more fluidly.”
This time, we got to see a lot more of Wang in the clothes, unlike last year where he played it safe and mixed elements of the previous creative heads of the house. The lineup took inspiration from sailing – sails, ropes, braiding, raincoats, and rubber boots – which is often interpreted as preppy and WASPish, but certainly not here, under Wang’s supervision.
Nautical navy met the chic sophistication and minimalism of French style. A beautiful A-line black leather coat was bonded to navy jersey, a strapless dress was made of ivory canvas at the top and black duchesse satin on the bottom, a strapless black crepe romper had a contrast pink silk band around the bust; truly, Black was the colour of the moment. Maritime notions came in other forms such as a canvas miniskirt stamped, the way sailcloth is, with the fashion house’s Paris address. What truly stood out were the series of draped tops and jackets with trailing asymmetric hems, bearing stark resemblance to the triangular shape of sails.
The models strutted down the runway holding clear Perspex clutches in corded silk fishnet sacks and wearing calfskin galoshes with colourful python soles. Silver necklaces and bracelets cast from real shells and scarves with nautical prints made for perfect accessories. True to Wang’s style – exposed midriffs and thighs were prominent at the show. Indeed, he brought a “youthful essence” to the line and a breath of fresh air to the house of Balenciaga.