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With the Cruise 2024 collections, versatile clothing pieces take centre stage

November is when the Cruise fashion collections begin to hit stores. Also labelled as Resort, Holiday or Pre-Spring, they comprise of versatile clothing pieces designed for those who travel to escape winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

That said, they can work for other occasions too – like year-end festive parties or, if you already live in a warmer country, beach getaways.

For this year, the exciting offerings bridge the gap between feminine chic and whimsical edginess.

Destination dressing is the usual theme. After all, fashion houses stage shows in exotic locations around the world to debut their Cruise collections.

For example, Dior presented its designs in Mexico City back in May. The weeks after that saw Gucci flying into Seoul to do the same, while Carolina Herrera chose Rio De Janeiro and Max Mara picked Stockholm.

The list is endless, as every brand wanted to create a spectacle with their Cruise collection runway show.

To really stand out for the Cruise season, you need to literally shine. Photo: Carolina HerreraTo really stand out for the Cruise season, you need to literally shine. Photo: Carolina HerreraTrends for the season are also as varied as the jet-set destinations – just pick one that can suit your personality, or go by whatever specific reasons you are dressing up for.

Read more: When they go short, we go long? Maxi skirts are fashion’s latest trend

Positively sweet

The Barbie film really revived the appeal of pink. This is apparent on runways, where the sweet colour stood out.

Chanel’s Cruise collection featured several all–pink outfits. Whether in the form of two-piece suits or maxis dresses, as well as easy-to-wear separates, the models looked very pretty in variations of the shade.

Dior also included several hot pink looks for the season. This very vibrant bubble-gum hue stood out among the more demure outfits – especially since the runway show took place in a sombre, historically-important school building.

Another trend apparent from the Cruise season is fashion’s fascination with oversized bows.

Thom Browne’s preppy collection included immaculate bows for a number of outfits. Tied around the collar they became visual focal points. The adornment also softened the overall aesthetic, which otherwise revolved around crisp tailoring.

Max Mara also favoured bows. There were those similarly tied around the neck, but also others like men’s bow ties – untied and hanging loose.

Bring on the fantasy

Sheer skirts that you can layer over other clothing are part of a popular trend right now. Photo: Victoria BeckhamSheer skirts that you can layer over other clothing are part of a popular trend right now. Photo: Victoria BeckhamAnother favoured embellishment is the cape. You have Stella McCartney and Balenciaga showing caped maxi dresses, for instance.

Unlike in the case of superheroes – where capes would conjure up ideas of invincibility and power, in the fashion world, they would instead confer softness and vulnerability.

Long and flowy, capes are able to make different outfits look chic and graceful.

Along the same line of the Cruise season’s fantasy trope, is the mermaid–core trend. It involves the use of materials that have a shine. Imagine a mermaid’s tail with glistening scales, and you will get the idea.

Runways were glittering with designs that shimmer as flashing lights bounced off sequins and crystals.

Carolina Herrera presented a fun and playful collection. Highlights included the outfits that incorporate elements of high-shine – like a pink sequin halter-neck design and black dress with tassels and crystals.

Fun in the sun

Athleisure is also one of the trends for this year’s Cruise season.

Louis Vuitton included bathing suits in its collection. The fashion house called them “wetsuits” as they were tailored from neoprene – akin to the ones divers wear for snorkelling or scuba.

For Gucci, it was all about athleticwear. Seen on the runway were flight jackets, plus other designs that pay ode to skate and surf culture.

Like Louis Vuitton, Gucci also showed wetsuits. This is in addition to tight, tailored pants resembling bicycle shorts. Several models were seen carrying surfboards as they walked too.

Pink is a favoured colour this fashion season. They are seen in various sweet shades. Photo: ChanelPink is a favoured colour this fashion season. They are seen in various sweet shades. Photo: ChanelThe highlight of the Gucci collection is probably the “skateboard bag”. This happens to be an actual full-sized deck complete with wheels – with a monogrammed handbag attached at the centre.

Read more: ‘Using heels as power’: Why stilettos are still in fashion among women

Adaptable appeal

Seeing that the Cruise season is not bound by specific needs – as opposed to Autumn/Winter with warm jackets and Spring/Summer needing to be light and airy, the clothes are a lot more versatile.

Designers take the opportunity to be creative because of this.

The jet-set crowd may not necessarily fly off to sunny countries for their year-end holidays. They may want to head to a ski resort, instead.

So, you can find thick outerwear in the collections of certain brands. A favourite piece in this regard is the fuzzy coat. Givenchy, Coach, Oscar De La Renta are all carrying this clothing item – and most of them come in vibrant colours.

On the other end of the spectrum is the focus on sheer skirts. These can be layered over shorts or worn to cover up bathing suits as you make your way from the pool to the streets.

Look to Proenza Schouler, Victoria Beckham or Giambattista Valli. These brands make good use of skirts fashioned from lace, tulle and other light fabrics to really show the adaptability of Cruise offerings.

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