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January 10, 2018updated May 22, 2020

All White Now: Dresses for Tropical Getaways

By Kristen Shirley

This story originally appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.

For tropical getaways, you can’t get much better than a dreamy white dress. This season, designers took us on a whirlwind tour around the world, pulling inspiration from sources as varied as the classical Greeks to the American West. At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld transported his audience to an ancient ruin in Greece without ever leaving Paris’s Grand Palais. Bouclé paired with gladiator sandals, Greek-inspired prints, a hint of a toga, and plenty of white and gold walked the runway. The details on the pictured dress recall waves in the Aegean Sea, best seen from a chic villa in Santorini or aboard a fabulous yacht. Taking inspiration from Marrakech photographer Hassan Hajjaj, New York–based designer Prabal Gurung brings us on a trip through Morocco. Nearly half of the pieces stick to a strict palette of black and white, with ruffled, tiered dresses and playful polka dots lending a sense of ease and modern elegance to the collection. Heading to Russia, Olga Vilshenko drew on the works of artist Michelle Morin and 18th-century Russian seascapes in her romantic line. Floral motifs wound their way through the pieces, in both prints and cutouts, as seen here on a crisp white dress. And in perhaps the most Instagrammed show of the season, Dior and Maria Grazia Chiuri take to a remote part of Calabasas, California, for an ode to the American West, cave paintings and Georgia O’Keeffe. At times a bit costumey, the collection still included standout red gowns and a very strong series of white dresses.

Vilshenko Auberta dress, $1,145, available online at

Prabal Gurung white tiered sun dress, $1,495, available online at

Chanel ribbed jersey dress, $20,900, sandals, $1,400, available at Chanel in New York, +1 212 355 5050,

Dior tulle dress, $27,000, straw hat embroidered with glass pearls, turquoise and red jasper resin, $1,250, Wildior calfskin high boot, $2,400, available at Dior in New York, +1 212 582 0500,

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