Excited for the return of travel? Just wait until you see the Cruise collections debuted so far this season from your favourite fashion houses. Radiating with a renewed exuberance for carefree summer escapes and breezy vacation days, these brands are going all out to transport us once again to dreamy destinations and stunning locales through their Resort collection fashion shows.
From Chanel’s celebration of the high-speed, high-glamour spirit of Monte Carlo, to Gucci’s ode to the faithful starry constellations that have guided us through centuries, here are our favourite Cruise 2023 collections showcased so far.
Continuing its tradition of presenting Cruise collections at locations of architectural excellence around the world, Louis Vuitton this season unveiled its Cruise 2023 collection at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego. A treasure of modern Brutalist architecture, the biomedical research centre’s buildings perfectly frames the sun at dusk within the axis of its central fountain. It is against this coastal sunset backdrop that Nicolas Ghesquière’s runway show took place, with the collection’s nomadic, Mad Max-esque aesthetics drenched in glimmering golden rays.
A palette of metallics made using linen, jacquard, silk, tweed and leather reflected and amplified the light of dusk, while resonating with the harsh, concrete utility of the Salk Institute. The collection, marked by oversized silhouettes, strong shoulder pads, and draping fabrics, also teased the upcoming return of a Yayoi Kusama collaboration with sprinklings of the artist’s dotted designs on classic and new leather bags.
For Chanel’s Cruise 2022/23 show, Virginie Viard paid tribute to a location deeply entwined with the House’s history and heavily influential in the formation of its style, codes and creativity – Monte Carlo. Gabrielle Chanel began her love affair with the Principality of Monaco and its surrounding region in the 1910s, while Karl Lagerfeld from the 1980s onwards held that same affection for the glamorous locale. Channelling the spirit of sophistication and freedom of the Riviera, the show opened with references to Monte Carlo’s grand prix races, such as mechanic jumpsuits in tweed with crystal buttons, and silk blouses with a racing flag motif. These then gave way to rhinestone tennis-inspired ensembles paired with racquet-shaped chain bags, black swimsuits reminiscent of elegant tuxedos worn at the casino, and striped high-collared shirts in honour of Karl Lagerfeld.
Alessandro Michele’s latest resort collection for Gucci was presented at sundown, with the historic Castel del Monte in Andria, Italy as its grand stage. The medieval structure’s precise geometry and harmonious merging of influences from Northern Europe, the Islamic world, and classical antiquity provided the ideal setting for the Gucci Cosmogonie fashion show, which was themed after the narrative of constellations that watch over generations, geographies and cultures. Along the runway lit up by a series of constellations, models walked in sparkly sheer gowns, colourblocked stripes, and sequined suits, complemented by accessories referencing centuries past such as chainmail coifs, capes, gladiator footwear and Elizabethan ruff collars. Closing the show on a dazzling note, the finale featured a captivating blue gown decked in stars that mirrored the glittering celestial patterns of the night’s sky.
Feature photo: Chanel