St. John Resort 2024

Working as vice president of design for soft-dressing king James Perse, Enrico Chiarparin learned a lot about the surf and sand, lounge-y side of Southern California fashion.

But as the executive vice president of design at St. John, he’s exploring something different.

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“It’s elevated SoCal, Slim Aarons, 1960s, L.A. and Palm Springs, Mia Farrow, Frank Sinatra, the way they used to dress,” he said of the spirit of the resort 2024 collection. “There is a more chic clientele of the rich woman who lives in Newport Beach, in Beverly Hills and in Palm Springs that’s more interesting to us.”

It marks a return to St. John’s circa 1962 roots in a way; the Irvine, California-based luxury brand’s first boutique was in the wealthy snowbird enclave of Palm Desert, just east of Palm Springs.

Managing to escape too much nostalgia, however, Chiarparin put a modern, polished spin on effortless suiting in this collection. With just enough stretch, soft blazers, sleeveless shirt jackets, bra tops and high-waist trousers in cranberry, cream or chartreuse should appeal to young Hollywood’s current penchant for tonal dressing. (Of course some of that is in the hands of Karla Welch, who styled the brand’s look book and is codesigning its Foundation line.)

Chiarapin explored the house’s jewelry archive to come up with chic mismatched jeweled buttons on a Prussian blue bustier top matched to an elegant column skirt, and gold tassel-shaped zipper pulls on a minidress that made the lineup feel decorated and different.

Using inspiration from his time as a designer at Prada, perhaps, he added luxury touches to sporty pieces, including a reversible geo patterned stretch double satin bomber jacket that was a fun twofer over a pop floral pencil skirt, and a blue leather zip front jacket and pleated skirt with mismatched metal eyelet hardware that was a subtle Western nod. A terracotta-hued crochet knit sweater and shorts set was another cute, youthful touch.

For evening, a very Mia Farrow floral babydoll dress surprised with jeweled bows on the back shoulder straps, while a pale blue cape-back column gown with front seams edged in crystals was made for a warm weather red carpet. With just a few seasons under his belt, Chiaparin is scoring in all categories.

Launch Gallery: St. John Resort 2024

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