Gypsy-inspired womenswear the top trend of 2015 resort season

The latest resort lines dabble with a caravan of colours, prints patterns and textures

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 January, 2015, 5:36pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 January, 2015, 11:03pm

Gyp what?, you might ask. The word gypset is used to describe the mash-up of romanticised gypsy-inspired looks and the glamorous stylings of the jet set. Think bold patterns, a touch of orientalism and a decidedly carefree form of opulence that emerged as the biggest trend for the resort 2015 season.

Gypsy-inspired womenswear is not about being fey or low-key, especially with the almost kaleidoscopic range of colours it comes in. It's a cruise line, after all, so the international fash-pack might as well have some fun while enjoying their exotic escapades.

With the increasing rise of the pre-collections, this so-called "season in between the seasons" is no longer a simple option for fashion brands; it has become a commercial necessity to any brand that seeks establishment within the fashion industry, as the pre-collections not only help to determine future trends, but also serve as a fashionable calling card. Over-the-top settings and storytelling of some pre-collection runway shows have the positive side effect of enticing the interest of a new clientele that eats, lives and breathes fashion outside the big four fashion weeks (Paris, Milan, New York and London).

Chanel, for that matter, made the boldest statement by showcasing its resort 2015 collection on a man-made island in Dubai, privately owned by Sheikh Al Maktoum. Karl Lagerfeld's golden petrol can bags, which adorned the outfits of the collection, have not only fuelled the imagination of fashionistas, but also sparked a debate related to Dubai's oil money-fuelled consumerism. Chanel's One Thousand and One Nights runway show went slightly too far into the fantasy, just as Louis Vuitton's fashionable celebration at the Palace of Monaco, or Dior's hip scenery at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, pretty much summed up what cruise collections are about nowadays: creating a fashionable escapade that attracts a great deal of new commercial opportunities.

But back to the topic of the gypset trend. It was originally started by a luxurious bunch of nomads and avid art lovers back in the '70s - we have to thank Anita Pallenberg and Bianca Jagger for imposing that style - who turned the goody-goody wardrobe of the '60s upside down, by spicing up regular work outfits and evening wear with a dash of exoticism and a carefree attitude that matched their desire of unconventional wanderlust and counter cultures.

This year, the gypset is not only present in Chanel's bouffant hairdos with oriental-inspired accessories, and layering tunics over Aladdin pants, it can also be seen in the London resort 2015 collections of Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto, among others, who joyfully combined a selection of eye-popping prints, colourful flower patterns and rich textures, worked in a happy colour palette of brights.

The Milanese designers opted for the same type of playful mix and match, while adding a '70s twist - think Etro's printed signature florals modernised on masculine jackets or straight-leg trousers and worn with trainers, or Missoni's colourful zigzags.

Shapes are all about the '70s. High-waisted flared fits, cropped cuts, A-line shapes and sturdy fabrics are predominant throughout the resort 2015 collections.

From hippie-flavoured embroidered skirts paired with work shirts and flower power knits, over to psychedelic prints and multicoloured designs: at Valentino, the designer duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli excels at proposing a modern-day version of the '70s woman. This resort 2015 line offers more casual, cool and wearable options, while still staying in line with the feminine elegance of Piccioli and Chiuri's Valentino.

Olivier Rousteing at Balmain adds a playful attitude to his tailored evening wear - poncho-inspired outerwear, black-and-white chevron printed flares, and geometric native American patterns injected with high-octane glamour. The '70s suiting style was sometimes also expressed in a more subtle way: designers such as Canadian-born British-Turkish Erdem Moralioglu, or the Israeli- American designer Yigal Azrouël, focused on black and white basics - flared pants combined with frilled tops or sleek tuxedos - to loosen up the dressy look of suits.

Painterly prints are another major trend this season and perfectly matched the bohemian-flavoured looks. Giambattista Valli used his billowing, ethereal silk dresses or wonderfully stylish jumpsuits as a canvas for his watercolour-inspired "flower power" prints. Raf Simons at Dior opted for subtle sophistication, adorning his sleek evening wear with abstract graphics, handkerchief hem skirts and bucolic motifs.

The gypset trend was originally started by a luxurious bunch of nomads and avid art lovers in the '70s

Following the same artistic vibe, artisanal crafts were a priority this season, and bold botanicals in the form of embroideries, adornments and appliqués were seen at Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Thom Browne and Christopher Kane, among others.

But what is the gypset about? Essentially, the look is slightly non-conformist, and centred on whisking together luxurious fabrics and crafts with a pinch of orientalism, bohemian and the zest of being young and free. Louche it might be, but it is a vivid and fun statement to kick off the year.