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Web Exclusive: Resort Wear 2009

Diablo embraces the evolution of the third season of fashion.


Once upon a time, resort collections were designed for the privileged few who use “winter” as a verb, and jet off to exotic locales the moment the weather turns frosty. In recent years, however, resort has evolved, and is now widely considered the “third season” of the fashion world. Designers have gone from presenting just bathing suits and cruisewear to offering a full range of ready-to-wear goodness, most of which is infinitely more wearable than the runway collections we see in spring and fall.

Notwithstanding its evolution, resort still retains much of its traditional fare. Every resort collection carries with it certain constants: bright color, whites, bold prints, and a better selection of swimwear than you’ll find at any other time of year.

This year’s resort collections are predictably bright – some of our favorite combinations are turquoise and canary yellow, and fuchsia with tangerine – but they all feature considerably more structure than we traditionally see from a season dedicated to lounging poolside. Less caftans and more tailoring, less linen and more silk – resort this year brings a new air of sophistication and wearability to the collections, proving that they’re intended to take us much further than our favorite beachfront cabana.



Jewel-Tone Print Dress: Courtesy of Michael KorsAs always, color is the signature of resort. This year, shades of blue are everywhere – whether it’s turquoise, cobalt or azure, ocean-inspired hues are right on trend. Balance them with resort’s signature white, or try mixing in a bold canary yellow to introduce some light and sunshine to your look. Banish black from your wardrobe, and look for basics in crisp whites instead – or mix it up with a pale dove grey. Fuchsia and orange, another classic warm-weather combination, is back for resort ’09 in a big way. One tip: if you’re being bold with color combinations, stick to solids. If you’re feeling a little less inspired, look for a fantastic print to tell your color story. Ikat-inspired prints are especially hot this year.





Courtesy of Forever 21

Courtesy of Forever 21Bold, bright fashion jewelry is absolutely everywhere for resort: the bigger, the better. You can find a range of pieces everywhere from Nordstrom or Betsey Johnson to H&M or Forever 21 (both fantastic sources for inexpensive statement jewelry).




 Pleated Miuccia Skirt: Courtesy of Fred Flare

Classically, resort means loose, unstructured clothing:  wide linen trousers, caftans and tunics perfect for lounging. But this season, anything goes. Look for wide, 1950s-style skirts, tailored jackets, and dresses in every shape and size. The key is effortless comfort. 





 Patent ID Chain Tote: Courtesy of Michael Kors



Look for unstructured, statement-making handbags to finish off your ensemble. Holly Sandal: Courtesy of Tory BurchFor handbags, you want either a slouchy tote to carry to the pool or a chic clutch for dinner – there’s no need for anything in between. Shoes are more about practical than in other seasons: for day, choose a chic, strappy flat, and a knockout heeled sandal for evening is the best ticket in town. Whether you choose bright colors or classic white, make sure your shoes and your handbag turn heads.





Courtesy of J. Crew


Of course, it wouldn’t be a resort season without some classic poolside looks. Swimwear is taking a turn toward the classic – look for stylish retro looks that leave a little to the imagination.


Courtesy of J. Crew

Go beyond your bikini and make sure you’re prepared to greet guests (or handsome strangers) at a moment’s notice by having a stylish coverup at the ready. We particularly love Tory Burch’s signature tunics for this purpose, but a strapless dress is always classic, and a full-coverage caftan will keep you looking effortlessly glam for any occasion.




Where to Buy (pictured)

Pleated Miuccia Skirt, Fred Flare, $66, available at fredflare.com

Cashmere Tie Dye Top and Scarf, Michael Kors, $695, $395, available at Bloomingdales, 845 Market Street, San Francisco, (415) 856.5300, bloomingdales.com; and michaelkors.com

Jewel-Tone Print Dress, Michael Kors, $1,995, available at Bloomingdales, 845 Market Street, San Francisco, (415) 856.5300, bloomingdales.com; and michaelkors.com

Patent ID Chain Tote, Michael Kors, $1,295, available at Nordstrom (by March 15), 1200 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 930-7959, nordstrom.com; and michaelkors.com

Holly Sandal, Tory Burch, $265, available on order at Saks Fifth Avenue, 220 Post St, San Francisco, (415) 438-5250; and toryburch.com

Glass Bead Earrings, $4.80, Painted Beads Necklace, $9.80, available at Forever 21, 426 Sun Valley Mall, Concord, (925) 682-1591; 1 Powell St., San Francisco, (415) 984-0380; forever21.com.

Jewelry, swim suit, and coverup, available at jcrew.com

 Where to Shop

Nordstrom: 1200 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 930-7959; 865 Market St., San Francisco, CA, (415) 243-8500; nordstrom.com.

 Betsey Johnson: Broadway Plaza, 1198 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 947-2946; 2031 Fillmore St., San Francisco, (415) 567-2726; 160 Geary St., San Francisco, (415) 398-2516; betseyjohnson.com.   

H&M: 1450 Mt Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 935-2394; 45 Market St. # 353, San Francisco, (415) 543-1430; hm.com.

Forever 21: 426 Sun Valley Mall, Concord, (925) 682-1591; 1 Powell St., San Francisco, (415) 984-0380; forever21.com.

J. Crew: 1 Stoneridge Mall Rd., Pleasanton, (925) 463-2100; 865 Market St. # 245, San Francisco, (415) 546-6262; 3251 20th Ave., San Francisco, (415) 731-3901; jcrew.com.