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Choose to cruise

  • November 4, 2019
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Cruise fashion was once an American phenomenon, an obscure fashion season known as cruise and resort. Initially, these clothes were meant for northern well to do women who spent a considerable amount of time holidaying in warm-weather spots, to escape the wraths of winter.

That was before airlines made quick trips to the Caribbean and long weekends in southern climes accessible to less-wealthy women. And it was before the demand from countries in the Middle East where winters are non-existent and fashionable warm-weather clothes are needed year-round.

What hasn’t changed is the need for fresh clothes in the stores starting in October and November. After all, autumn styles are shipped as early as June and tend to look tired and familiar when they are still hanging on the racks a few months later.

It was this commercial consideration that impelled the Europeans to offer cruise collections before they actually understood the thinking behind the season that falls between fall and spring. Two seasons a year are the rule for European fashion houses; four or more are handled by American ones.

These days a cruise fashion week is held in New York in June. As Claudia Croft, fashion editor at Style recently wrote, the shows aren’t accompanied by the fanfare of the ready-to-wear shows, but in terms of business, the clothes and accessories shown are the ones that will sell and sell.

Alongside major brands which show cruise, such as Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani and Dior, smaller brands such as Tibi and Giles Deacon also produce capsule ranges. The great thing about Cruise collections is that they are more affordable than the mainlines and much more wearable. Whilst the Christmas and holiday season may warrant for jaw-dropping glamour, Cruise collections are about about simpler pieces, such as a great jacket or little black dress. Come February, the mainline versions will hit stores, when the wraths of winter are inescapable and that new Lanvin coat will cheer you up no end.


Image: Dior Cruise

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