Style check: holiday resorts are bringing out stylish beachwear
Holiday wear has always proved something of a quandary for the modern urbanite, but it's a pleasant surprise how quickly the sector has been developing in this age of frequent fliers. And that's a good thing.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, unless you had a budget for couture, the offerings for resort and holiday wear were hardly impressive. You'd look around your beachside cabana in Mexico or Thailand, and it more than likely would be full of ragged tank tops, Oakleys and board shorts. There might have even been tree-hugger fashions, with elasticated everything and shapes verging on the hideous.
But with brands tapping into a lucrative market and a more carefree aesthetic, the choices are now a delight. Take a look at some of Tory Burch's spring-summer collection, or the brands showing at Miami fashion week. Australian labels are especially strong.
Italian label Emilio Pucci, of course, is still a stalwart. Locally, we have Marie France Van Damme's kaftans, Marissa Zeman's Nude is Rude lightweight resort wear, Jeanine Hsu's Niin jewellery label and Michelle Lai's MISCHA travel accessories. All are popular with travellers.
With this ripple in the travel world, I was wondering when the resorts and hotels would get on board.
Right now, it seems. The Orient Express hotels have a range of resort wear inspired by some of their iconic properties. Prints featuring recovered paintings from the medieval walls were sold at their Caruso Hotel, on the cliffs of Ravello on the Amalfi Coast.
A little more fashion-forward is the new range launched by One&Only Resorts to mark its 10th anniversary. Called "Limited Edition", the line has enlisted the likes of Matthew Williamson, Orlebar Brown and Charlotte Olympia and Linda Farrow to design exclusive items each inspired by the locations of their hotels.
Williamson has created a white kaftan with a print inspired by the colour wheels found at One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives. Linda Farrow has made a pair of vintage-style shades. Shoe designer Charlotte Olympia does the iridescent Oasis sandal, featuring abstract palm leaves in green suedes and leathers, and a Palm Pandora clutch with golden palm tree clasp and colourful raffia inserts. They've not left out the men, with Orlebar Brown's "Tommy Paradiso Shirt" and "Classic Bulldog Shorts".
The initiative is a smart move by the luxury hotel chain, and likely to be a hit. What's more, with Christy Turlington as its campaign model, it's easy to see the demographic this hotel group is looking towards.