Last month, international fashion buyers, press and style influencers were treated to historical backdrops, dramatic sets, live music and more, as the highly anticipated Cruise 2024 collections were unveiled around the globe. And what a season it was too. For many of our inimitable Bond Street brands, when it came to staging lavish collections, the world was their oyster. There was Gucci in Seoul, Dior in Mexico City and Chanel in Los Angeles. Elsewhere, the beachside glamour of Cannes provided the setting for singer Dua Lipa's sensational debut collaboration with Versace.
The Cruise collections, or 'Holiday' and 'Resort' as they are also known, are of course an essential part of the international runway schedule, occurring in May and landing in-store in November/early December. We can thank Coco Chanel for starting this welcome addition to the fashion circuit some 100 years ago. After noting the travel habits of her jet-setting clientele, she decided to create chic, trans-seasonal pieces to suit the expansion of the travel industry and the popularity of winter sun destinations. Fast forward to today, where ship-to-shore pieces ranging from bejewelled swimwear to palazzo pants, kaftans to blazers, are an essential part of any luxury brand's mid-season offering.
So, as the sun sets on this year's presentations, let us take you on a whistle-stop tour of the most far-flung destinations with our edit of the key trends. Featuring dreamy dresses, need-now accessories and a stellar front row, this is a Cruise season to remember. Bon voyage!
Pop singer du jour, Dua Lipa, put her unique spin on Versace's aptly named 'La Vacanza', Cruise offering. Co-designing the collection with Donatella Versace was a natural step for Lipa, who has worn the brand on the red carpet and starred in its runway shows. A shared love of the same 90's design references during the research phase intensified their relationship even further and resulted in many of the silhouettes and prints making their way into Cruise 2024. Take the iconic ladybug and butterfly print, for instance. It first appeared in Versace's 1995 collection and appears here on totes and figure-hugging dresses, while pastel pink and turquoise cropped metallic jackets, bikinis and boots have also been updated. As models strutted along the runway, suspended over a swimming pool, suffice it to say, the Dua Lipa x Versace pairing was a hit with the star-studded front row.
Chanel, Los Angeles
Trust designer Virginie Viard to add a feminine touch to Chanel's much-loved classics. The show kicked off with models wearing cut-out swimsuits trimmed with sparkling shooting star embellishments to a soundtrack which fused the theme tune from Basic Instinct with lounge beats. As the show unfolded, guests were treated to swishy chiffon skirts, metallic crop tops and plenty of Barbie pink. Almost every shade of the popular hue could be seen on tweed mini-skirt suits and flared trousers, glittering evening dresses and day shorts. Sugary pink accessories also made the news. A fluffy miniature crossbody bag along with a pink quilted clutch and a bucket hat embellished with a crystal logo, hit all the right notes. Furthermore, with a dazzling gold blazer and a silver sequined evening coat, it's safe to say, that shimmer and sparkle were at the heart of this stunning collection.
Dior, Mexico City
The artist Frida Kahlo provided the inspiration for Maria Grazia Chiuri's eclectic Cruise collection for the house of Dior. Chiuri chose the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, where Kahlo met her husband Diego Rivera as the backdrop to the show. It is now a museum and home to one of Riviera's breathtaking murals. The collection was brimming with references to Kahlo and her uniquely gender-fluid dress sense. Think Prince of Wales check suits and tailored tuxedos. And then there were the dresses, cut from lace, velvet or linen. Butterfly motifs also featured here, strung on silver and gold necklaces and belts, and on crisp white blouses. Elsewhere, birds and flowers formed the basis of lavish prints on floor-length skirts and capes. As for the colour palette, rich burgundy and olive green along with top notes of white and gold were seen throughout.
Louis Vuitton, Lake Maggiore
Isola Bella, a tiny private island located in the middle of Italy's Lake Maggiore, provided the stunning backdrop to an ethereal Cruise collection from Louis Vuitton's Nicolas Ghesquière. The Baroque garden setting couldn't have been more perfect for this magical show, which had its hook in the sea, a place where mythical mermaids and sea creatures roam. Here though, models sporting diving goggles seemed to almost emerge from the clamshells that were set into the grotto's walls behind. There were plenty of showstopping highlights of note including wetsuits with fin-like collars made from neoprene. Cropped tops were given a fluted edge, while some featured necklines that splayed outwards like a lizard's collar. Meanwhile, mermaid-inspired skirts adorned with large sequinned scales were quite simply out of this world.
The Gucci Cruise show was the first of its kind to take place within the ceremonial courtyard of the 14th Century Gyeongbokgung Palace. Set in the heart of Seoul and with the city's futuristic skyline glinting in the distance, the juxtaposition of old-meets-new, was a theme that also played out in this vibrant collection. For Gucci afficionados, there were plenty of interpretations of 90's streetwear classics to enjoy, including oversized cargo trousers complete with generous pockets and hoodies featuring a cat's paw print touching a butterfly. There were also stunning floor-length gowns with a single flower print and contrasting neoprene dresses. Accessories including kitten heel shoes and Gucci Horsebit Chain bags in bold red leather, had plenty of lust factor. Elsewhere, minimalist Gucci bags from the archive were re-interpreted in colourful scuba and ornamental versions.
Can’t wait to get your hands on the upcoming Cruise collections? Discover our round-up of resort-inspired pieces from a selection of Bond Street's most celebrated brands.