No season on the fashion calendar carries an innate glamour quite like Resort, which typically arrives in boutiques in mid- to late November. Several houses also employ Cruise as the term for this collection, a moniker that likewise evokes images of balmy island breezes and evenings of outdoor dining and dancing under the stars. That imagery marries well with the practical intent found in the season’s origins, when well-heeled women would pack their Louis Vuitton trunks and decamp to tropical locales as winter approached back home. You can still feel that inspiration in today’s Resort collections, which will include everything from poolside-chic swimwear and breezy daywear to entrance-making evening pieces that are equal parts dramatic and effortless.
Coco Chanel has been credited with spawning the Resort season (which the house indeed refers to as Cruise), having created a collection of lightweight womenswear perfect for traveling women in 1919 — the idea also makes sense when you realize that Chanel’s first fashion boutique was not in Paris, but the seaside town of Deauville, opening its doors in 1913. Designers in the decades since have roundly agreed — no matter which name you apply to the clothes that debut in May, become available in November and often stay in stores well into springtime — that it’s a highly popular collection, perhaps precisely because of its blend of transitional wearability and glamorous appeal.
These days designers punctuate that duality by presenting their runway shows for the season in decidedly enchanting locales. Chanel leaned into its Hollywood history by trekking from Paris to Los Angeles for its Cruise 2024 collection, while Louis Vuitton hosted its presentation at the magical Isola Bella, located on northern Italy’s Lake Maggiore. Dior headed to Mexico City, and soon after Versace opted for Cannes. What was the common thread throughout both the clothes and the trends that pervaded the Resort and Cruise collections? An emphasis on a carefree lifestyle that embraces joyful colors, spectacular weather and just a hint of evening drama. Here’s a look at 10 pieces — all from boutiques at South Coast Plaza — that excelled with this captivating thought.
SOUTH COAST PLAZA
THE 2024 RESORT EDIT
Chanel famously presents its Cruise collection at a glamorous destination each year, and for the house’s 2024 showing, Los Angeles — and, more specifically, a soundstage at Paramount Studios — was the high-wattage of choice for Virginie Viard’s youthful, colorful designs. That included this Large Hobo Bag in a quilted calfskin crafted in beautiful gradient hues of pink, yellow and orange, meant to evoke thoughts of a California sunset.
For Resort 2024, Bottega Veneta creative director Matthieu Blazy said he wanted to focus on important pieces that might feel coveted or personal, and the latest iteration of the house’s Knot Mule undeniably fits the bill. In a wholly wearable 1.8-inch heel, this strappy mule in brass-toned lambskin is highly versatile, perfect for skirts, trousers, denim or polished shorts, with the house’s signature knot on the heel as the ideal finishing touch.
Maria Grazia Chiuri trekked to Mexico City for Dior Cruise 2024 and created a tribute to the country’s rich cultures via beautiful embroideries and her take on traditional huipil blouses. But Chiuri also embraced the idea of butterflies and metamorphosis this season, an idea that resulted in pieces like these Dior Tribales Earrings, crafted to highlight gold-toned butterflies that seems to have landed atop of-the-moment pearls (in reality, the butterfly sits on the front of the earlobe, while the pearl resides behind).
Seoul, South Korea was the destination of choice for the unveiling of Gucci’s Cruise 2024 collection, presented in an opulent setting that was formerly a royal palace. The location perfectly suited the luxe details of the clothes, from brightly hued sateens to bow accents and sparkle; put all the elements together, and the overall attitude felt modern-day Bridgerton, woven through Gucci’s Italian sensibilities. This GG Canvas Top is an ideal example, featuring the season’s must-have cropped corset styling, which can be dressed up or down — but in Gucci’s iconic GG print, it’s always entrance-making.
Artistic director Kim Jones is embracing collaborations for his recent Fendi collections, and that includes Resort 2024, a partnership with the wonderfully talented Stefano Pilati, whom Jones called “an inspiration for what I do.” Pilati played with waistlines and a focus on ease, reflected in this cocoon dress crafted in fuchsia silk gazar. Details include a drawstring waist that can be worn dropped or at the natural waistline, wide kimono sleeves and a cutout detail in back.
Jonathan Anderson loves a playful detail, an idea seen often in his work as creative director of Loewe. He inspires plenty of smiles from fans with his Resort 2024 collection, not only in enlisting Dame Maggie Smith for the season’s ad campaign, but also in the joyful colors and details inherent to his designs. The label’s latest Toy pump is crafted in pistachio-hued suede and embellished allover with rhinestones, including on the how-signature “Toy” detail on the 90-millimeter heel.
Few pieces feel more magical, entrance-making or resort-friendly than a halter-neck dress in a flowing silk chiffon, and for Resort 2024, Stella McCartney has produced a beautiful, ethereal choice. McCartney’s collection for the season is dubbed “Lady Garden,” which is an ode to femininity woven through McCartney’s commitment to sustainability. That balance is achieved in this surrealist floral print, which was hand-drawn in the label’s London atelier, and crafted in a silk that’s been certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard to ensure the fabric is socially responsible throughout its manufacturing process. Details on the mint-hued maxi dress include tiered ruffles, concealed zipper and asymmetric hem.
Creative director Francesco Risso put an emphasis on sculptural objects and brilliant colors for his Resort 2024 collection for Marni. If any piece embodied the season’s carefree-meets-glamorous sensibilities, it was this Chunky Necklace, crafted to highlight sizeable blue and green rhinestones, prong-set on a palladium-toned chain.
Ian Griffiths debuted his Max Mara Resort 2024 collection in Stockholm — the first time a major fashion house has produced a runway show in the Swedish capital — and the result was a sophisticated collection that offered subtle nods to its location. Fans of winter white should proceed directly to Max Mara, where chic Resort pieces in the shade include these Flared Trousers, crafted in a cotton-blend scuba jersey that hangs beautifully, while details include a wide leg, double pleats, slant pockets and a high waistline.
Tory Burch is on everyone’s lips as a favorite designer at the moment, an idea punctuated by her nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year at November’s 2023 CFDA Awards. Perhaps it’s because Burch excels at effortlessly blending details that are equal parts modern, elegant and a touch sporty, each seen in this Draped Jersey Dress in black and soft turquoise from her Resort 2024 collection. Featuring a stretch sleeveless bodice, the dress is crafted to include an underwire that creates an artful curved line on the draped skirt.