More than just Spring/Summer Fall/Winter

Even members of the public who don't follow fashion and trends know there are two big seasons during the year for the fashion world; Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Each is kicked off by a week of runway shows and presentations, followed but months of analysis and application. However, in the last several decades, fashion has adjusted to the way consumers live and travel, and more collections were made. Two seasons weren't going to satisfy customers who quickly grew weary of the six-month gap between new collections. Coupled with this, many wealthy consumers vacationed in warmer climates and needed new garments in the middle of winter.

Karl Lagerfeld unveiled his Chanel Resort 2010
 collection on the beach of Lido in Venice

From this, the Cruise/Resort collection was born. High fashion houses like Chanel, Dior, Ralph Lauren and Gucci began offering mid-season collections for women, followed by menswear in the 2000s. Inter-season collections (pre-fall and resort/cruise) have become a necessity for many ready-to-wear brands hoping to stay relevant and keep revenue steady throughout the year. No longer aimed at only the affluent, many more casual brands are creating collections outside of the classic spring/fall seasons. This benefits the brand because it eliminates fluctuations in revenue, and the consumer because they can purchase new pieces year-round depending on the weather and their personal taste. The lull between February and September, then back to February again, can leave the market feeling stale. Between-season collections add a fresh burst of creativity and life into the retail bubble.

Purple Ginger Resort 2012

Purple Ginger Resort 2012

The designers at Purple Ginger currently offers a Spring/Summer collection in addition to resort and high summer collections.  Each different collection has different color pallets and cuts that tie each together, and each, though summery, interprets warm-weather wear in a different way. The spring/summer collection features very muted pastels, nautical themes, and airy cuts. The high summer collection has more structure, bolder colors and patterns, and more revealing cuts. The smaller resort collection takes winter's blacks and fashion-forward shapes and makes them beach appropriate and hot-weather-ready.Three collections give consumers an easy way to transition from winter to summer without feeling like they're stuck in a previous season. It also gives them something to shop for when they're itching for something new as the weather changes.

Michael Kors Resort 2012

Trends also emerge in the smaller resort collections, and often reflect nautical, beauty themes, harkening back to the season's cruise origins. Michael Kors' resort 2012 collection is inspired by scuba-diving wear and looks like it was created for an adventurous tourist. The collection feature thick, black zippers, fanny-pack-like purses, and a lot of neoprene. Even the full-length gowns are in bold colors with harsh black lines. The collection isn't timid, and where there are patterns, they're bold.

Jason Wu Spring 2012

Jason Wu Resort 2012

Jason Wu's collection pulled a bit from the scuba trend with it's bold colors and black lines, but also pieced it together with the sophisticated, feminine structure of his spring 2012 collection. And like any great resort collection, it brings a fresh twist to classic Jason Wu aesthetic. The long black gown with white applique flowers combines a winter look with summer fabrics, and is easily identified as a Jason Wu dress. Fans of a label are more likely to remain loyal when the designer gives them something to wear that's appropriate, but also reminds them why they love the designer in the first place.