TROPICAL PARADISE

Picture this, a warm tropical island, sounds of the ocean in the background, sipping a Pina Colada while soaking up the sun. While the fantasy might not be entirely real, designers have honed in on a tropical paradise as their inspiration for this season, putting forward designs best suited for your favourite beach resort.

The beach was a heavy focus for Dsquared2, having introduced the concept in its menswear range and continuing through its women’s collection. The show was set against a backdrop of waves and featured a variety of swimwear options ranging from sporty one-pieces through to slinky bikinis. Designers Dean and Dan Caten played to their strengths, focussing on their sexy and sporty aesthetic while mixing in boyish pants to equalise the collection. While there were a lot of colours flying around the collection, a pop of red, akin to that of Resene Poppy, stood out amongst the rest.

True to style, Fausto Puglisi showcased a range of inspirations, unable to settle on one core concept, rather drawing on a range of influences in what could only be described as a design explosion. However, that does not mean the collection was bad. Much like other designers, the collection is powerful piece by piece, making it a commercial success. There was a subtle hint to thoughts of the tropics, with a coconut tree motif embroidered onto this structured skirt, and paired with a multi-textured cardigan with a striking red, similar to Resene Red Hot.

It might seem like a strange combination, but No. 21 designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua has paired his love for grunge with the demand for luxury clothing and while throwing in a tropical undertone.

“I liked this mix of beautiful 1930s silhouette, an elegant dress, taken someplace casual,” said Dell’Acqua. The word casual is used freely, however, with the clothes remaining in the luxury category. Tropical prints, like the one used in this oversized jumper, feature a strong orange colour mimicking a sunset on the horizon that is parallel to Resene’s Shirley Temple.

Much like he did for his namesake brand, Fausto Puglisi explored the same floral and tropical influences in his range for Emanuel Ungaro. The silhouettes were long and lean, implementing silk blouses in various prints with midi skirts and thick belts. Leopard print featured alongside tropical green jacquard, akin in colour to Resene Wishlist, all grounded with strong use of black through the entire collection.

Immediately greeted by a custom-made neon sign reading “you’re obviously in the wrong place,” guests at the Off-White show witnessed what was a display of pop-culture infused with somewhat minimal and precise design. Designer Virgil Abloh continued to push his agenda to bring streetwear to the runway, while continuously reminding himself to design clothes that “more than a t-shirt,” said Abloh. The beige coat in a colour similar to Resene Howlin Wolf was a testament to Alboh’s mission to provide high-fashion streetwear options that are easily worn by a range of customers.

The designs from Prada were as complex as their explanation, with a range of textiles and silhouettes coming down the runway that told a story of self-reflection and included motifs from a range of inspirations.

“Everything is symbolic. It is like a collage of what is happy or painful, of whether you are feeling beautiful or horrible, when you have love or no love. I thought of it as like someone who has all the clothes she’s ever had on the floor in front of her in the morning, and she must choose how she’s going to assemble herself,” said designer Miuccia Prada.

This sentiment paved the way for different prints to feature throughout the range, including the graphic floral shirt in a colour comparable to Resene Touche, which resembles a high-fashion alternative to the typical Hawaiian shirt.

While you would not be able to guess the collections tropical influence if it weren’t for the cohesive island print which incorporated a colour parallel to Resene Seaweed, the starting point for the Proenza Schouler was a visit to Cuba. With extended family in the area he had never met, designer Lazaro Hernandez along with his design partner Jack McCollough visited the country to both soak up the inspiration but also enjoy a moving family experience that inevitably rubbed off on the clothing. Although the island influence is undeniable, the collection at its core remains entirely urban, with the aforementioned print being the only direct link to the range’s inception.

At the helm of Sonia Rykiel is designer Julie de Libran, who is doing wonders for the brand with its most recent show being held at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, just down the road from the brand’s landmark Saint-Germain de Prés boutique. While Libran may have taken over design for the company, Sonia Rykiel still feels very much like a family-run operation, with a special print created this season by artist Maggie Cardelus, which paid homage to the founders. While the tropics weren’t at the top of Libran’s mind, as is the nature of trends, a subtle reference managed to find its way into the show with this modern green dress in a colour relatable to Resene Optimist with a yellow floral print.