Though Jonathan Simkhai designs for the style savant with feminine sensibilities, at its core his line captures a decidedly athletic and boyish spirit. His Resort 13 collection retains these sensibilities, while also embracing eye-popping prints and a slew of colors, ranging from understated pastels to electrifying brights. Pretty dresses get the sportif treatment with baseball-style sleeves, and there are enough oxford shirts to attire a fleet of prepsters. The designer certainly didn't skimp on his usual playfully elegant fare: the shapes are relaxed and easy, the fabrics lightweight and fluid, hinting at warm-weather getaways and sunset drinks. Though Simkhai was born and raised in New York, the designer's latest pieces exude Californian cool, serving up sportswear-inspired clothes with a modern twist. Continue reading for details on his collection, and check out our exclusive Q&A with the designer as well.Pleated Striped Dress ($645)
This frock sports a sweet, feminine silhouette and intriguing geometric pattern, making it a great choice for date night.
Crepe Moto Jacket ($465)
The perfect cover-up for chilly spring evenings? This cool moto jacket updated with neon yellow trim.
2 Tone Oxford ($298)
Contrast this pastel oxford shirt with a brightly printed pencil skirt and sleek metallic heels.
Pocket Top ($295)
You can wear this striped boxy t-shirt with matching shorts, but it's also versatile mixed with solid-colored separates.
Stripe Shorts ($298)
Pair silky drawstring shorts with a button-down blouse for a polished yet laid-back effect.
Q&A with Jonathan Simkhai
What inspired the start of your design career?
I was always inspired by the girls around me in my life. They were always coming over and borrowing my clothes. So, finally, I decided that I would design cool boyish clothes for them so they would stop stealing my stuff!
What was the inspiration behind this season's collection?
I drew inspiration from the wedding of my best friend of five years, Kristine Lanspa Mittendorf. Kristine, who also works at the company, planned a beautiful Caribbean wedding at the Viceroy Anguilla. I was really intrigued by the idea of a dream vacation wardrobe. I incorporated elements from the resort's mixed interiors, sleek architecture, and tranquil island setting. I tried to use different organic materials and textures to create a stark difference to the modern architecture of the clothes, similar to the interior of the location. I also focused on a cool and fresh color palette that perfectly reflected the island's serene nature.
How would you style specific pieces from this collection? Do you have a favorite piece in the collection?
I really believe in layering, especially oxfords under everything. I don't think you can go wrong with a buttoned-up collar under any look. My favorite piece was the long layered maxi dress. It features a variation of the classic black and white print that I do every season, and there are subtle trim details that give the piece a pop of color and add a sporty edge. The double layer is flattering on lots of body shapes and the slits on the side add a sexy touch.
What kind of girl do you envision wearing your clothing?
I definitely design for a girl who is confident, who can feel sexy in a silk track pant and is always effortless.
How does your design process for a collection start?
Usually, I begin with a broader idea by looking at the things around me. Where I'm traveling, who I'm spending time with, and what colors feel good to me. I then begin looking at fabrics and colors and picking things based off an intuitive feeling. Once I have that groundwork, I start sketching and let the ideas develop.--Tiffany Tse