Resort collections may garner less fanfare their flashier siblings—the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer collections—but don’t mistake these smaller, mid-season lines for the unassuming middle child of the fashion world. The collections were originally named “Resort” because they featured posh vacation clothes for wealthy jet-setters looking to catch some rays with a wintertime holiday. True to that history, designers channel myriad influences to reimagine the collections and imbue them with new verve each year. Many look to artists for inspiration.
This season was no exception, with fashion labels taking cues from architects, photographers, and illustrators for collections that are as creative as they are wearable. Here’s our 10 favorite art-fashion collaborations from the 2018 Resort collections.
1. Max Mara Channels Architect Eileen Gray
Max Mara creative director Ian Griffiths channeled a lesser-known artistic muse for his seasonal outing: architect Eileen Gray. Gray was known for wearing masculine tailoring. She also built a stark, modernist Villa in the south of France, something that was virtually unheard of at the time. Those two ideas are fused together in Max Mara’s 2018 Resort collection, balancing a sexy masculinity and a distinctly Gallic insouciance. Slouchy trousers and crisp white men’s shirts are offset by beachy details like espadrille heel shoes, maritime stripes, berets, and rope belts—c’est tres bien!
2. Giorgio Armani Draws From Joan Miró
It’s not hard to see Joan Miró’s mark on Giorgio Armani’s Resort 2018 offering. The line embraces the Surrealist master’s signature sun red, graphic shapes, and artsy prints, to infuse Armani’s classic silhouettes with a dose of sensuality and sophistication. Armani wisely featured Miró’s work in a range of ways, from subtle—a panel of abstracted imagery cut into an otherwise classic shift dress—to the more literal: using the painter’s print on a sleeveless mini dress.
3. 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Nod to Jackie Nickerson
Jackie Nickerson’s photos of farm workers in lower Africa—often shown hidden by their tools or a bounty of leaves—served as the jumping off point for this season’s designs by New York-based Phillip Lim. Lim took a practical move evident in the photos—jackets tied around the waste—and turned it into a kind of decorative draping made with Maasai-inspired plaids and high-contrast textures like laminated cotton.
4. Christian Dior Takes a Cue From Georgia O’Keeffe
The Brooklyn Museum exhibition focusing on Georgia O’Keeffe’s personal aesthetic—as opposed to her artwork—must have ricocheted around the world. Christian Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri channeled the look into a collection of prairie dresses, fringes, parson’s hats, and wrapped blanket coats. Lascaux cave paintings and artist Vicki Noble’s feminist tarot deck imagery is threaded throughout, creating a rich tapestry of southwestern-inspired design.
5. Prada’s Sweet James Jean Designs
Miuccia Prada took illustrator James Jean’s arresting work and rendered it on everything from innocent shift dresses to clutch purses. Frolicking bunnies give feather-trimmed pajamas a sort of boudoir sweetness while illustrations of lilies in black and white create a look that is at once sensuous and graphic. The combination conjures just enough of the Prada mystique that fans have come to know, love, and expect from its designer.
6. Marc Jacobs Reworks Robert Longo
New York iconoclast Marc Jacobs created a typically smart and funky collection but this time with a feeling of movement. Pieces were imbued with fringe, tiered layers of lightweight fabric and dangling embroideries. What better way to emphasize that than to shoot the lookbook models in the style of Robert Longo’s iconic “Men In the Cities” series? It’s the perfect embodiment of New York City, where art and fashion collide on a daily basis.
7. Simon Miller Takes on Slim Aarons
What better way to impart a sense of the ‘70s into your work than to look to one of the decade’s most visually distinct artists: Slim Aarons. That’s exactly what Simon Miller co-designers Daniel Corrigan and Chelsea Hansford did for the brand’s 2018 Resort collection. Beyond the sun-saturated California poolside and society dames in repose, the designers embraced the orange, brown, and lime colors that characterized the decade’s palette to give the collection a decidedly retro feel.
8. House of Holland’s Ode to Albert Irvin
The work of abstract expressionist Albert Irvin helped guide House of Holland’s Resort 2018 collection after designer Henry Holland reached out to the artist with an invitation to collaborate. Sadly, Irvin passed away before that could take place, but Holland worked with Irvin’s estate on a dazzling collection that honored the artist’s bold, joyous chaos. Luckily, that sort of kinetic energy fit Holland’s aesthetic, and the result was a swaggering riot of color and energy.
9. Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Looks to Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi designers Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton tackled a familiar fashion trope for their 2018 Resort outing: floral prints—but by way of the artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s botanical drawings. These came in a range, from riotous explosions of maximalism on gowns and oversize coats to lovely embroideries on granny-chic white blouses. Either way, spring’s regenerating magic comes through.
10. Each x Other’s Poetic Prints
Parisian label Each x Other loves art so much that poet and artist Robert Montgomery is a kind of in-house artist-in-residence. Designers Jenny Mannerheim and Ilan Delouis took a cool-girl approach this season with shin-length jackets, flouncy blouses, camouflage parkas, and athletic hoodies, all emblazoned with lines from one of Montgomery’s love poem. The collection’s graphic austerity was tempered by the sweetness of the words.
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