Slim Aarons is as romantic in Palm Springs as anyone else. While designing her resort collection, Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill was captivated by the photographer’s famous 1970 image titled Gossip, depicts a poolside idyll in the Richard Neutra house. The designer’s color palette, dominated by yellows and greens, was derived from the image, along with a white crochet dress with hand-appliquéd detailing at the hem, a reference to a cutout garment shot in the film.
It’s not hard to see the connection between the festive good life depicted in Gossip and the Markarian aesthetic of dressed-up ladies, New Look Style is at its best here with suits featuring wonderful seam detailing. If you pair a jacket with jeans, or a skirt with a tank top, you can evoke some of the easy-going vibes Aarons sees. The designer herself loves this formal/casual mix, and it would be interesting to see it in her collection.
The freshness of the Markarian usually comes from the fabric choices, as it did again this season. But there’s something else going on here, too: O’Neal evolved some of her signatures in three chic dresses — all short, by the way. Beaded crystal and glass bead sheaths with side slits simplified the glitzy designs she used for fall, and a silky black dress with pretty streamers and disco ball mirror embroidery was featured at her last year’s Reflective decorations are used in resort products. Equally striking was O’Neill’s transformation of the corsets of her best-selling models into bias-cut figures with draped skirts. There’s a sweeping version with cherry red flowers, but the cocktail-length figure is a simple yet strong take on the classic LBD.