GC Magazine - Galleria Cavour

Fashion Story: cruise collections

17 August - 2022

In Summer, the call of vacations, often leads to talk of “Riviera,” “Resort,” or “Cruise.” In fashion, for some time now, these words have taken on a special meaning: have you ever heard of cruise collections, for example?

What are they and what do they represent for the fashion system? More and more brands, in the luxury sector and beyond, since the 2000s, have begun to juxtapose the presentations of the canonical lines, which take place strictly during fashion weeks in the legendary fashion capitals, with off-season fashion shows: the so-called, precisely, Riviera or Cruise collections.

They are true collection previews and often involve, paradoxically, out-of-season garments. It is precisely to this singular characteristic that they owe their name. In the past, in fact, it was customary for lords and ladies of the upper middle class and wealthier social classes to indulge in off-season vacations: perhaps to exotic places or aboard impressive transoceanic cruises. This induced tailors and designers to make, for their best customers, off-season garments and collections suited to the climate of the vacation destinations.

Here then appear, today, in the very pre-collections, costumes, sarongs and short sleeves in pre-fall fashion shows or coats in cruise collections. The other characteristic, peculiar to these fashion shows, is that, being released from the rigid agenda of fashion weeks, they allow brands to be able to hold them in destinations far from the canonical fashion cities, such as Paris or Milan, and choose, instead, unusual places or places sentimentally linked to the brand’s history, thus creating a storytelling around the show.

Finally, the advent of social media and its continued use to promote the season’s novelties and tell the story of the universe around the fashion house has played a key role, leading fashion houses to create increasingly sensational and magnetic events: shows that, in some ways, have begun to steal the show from those of the main collections. How can we forget, for example, Chanel’s epochal Cruise 2017 show in Havana? Strongly desired by Karl Lagerfeld it represented a true historic event for Cuba after years of isolation and divergence with the Western world. Valentino this year went back to its roots in the Spanish Steps in Rome, and Dior has for some time now been presenting its season previews with spectacular shows between the French Riviera and Monte Carlo.

Even the brands present with their stores in Galleria Cavour, have, in recent years, given rise to monumental fashion shows-events such as Louis Vuitton, for example, which for Resort 2022, took its show to San Diego to celebrate science and street culture or Prada, which, to reiterate its minimalist approach, chose The Piano Factory in New York in 2020.

In short: seasonless garments, collection previews, but above all, traveling shows around the world: this, too, is the allure of fashion, perfectly expressed in these timeless and borderless collections.