Mathilde Castello Branco is a fabulist, so when she decided that for Resort, she would work around cocktail, she didn't just work around cocktail—she narrated it. "What is cocktail for me?" she asked a visitor at her Faubourg Saint-Honoré atelier. "It's a woman at home having people over at 4 or 5 p.m." Her clothes are her cocktails. So she explained her palette: piña colada white, maraschino red, curaçao blue, whiskey gold. The kiss marks embroidered onto chiffon are "like lips on a glass." Her heels come with clear "ice pick" heels. "If I want to break my ice, I use my shoe," she explained. "It's a bit more glamorous."
Glamour is the Azzaro stock in trade, and Castello Branco delivers. She scatters crystals, drapes jersey, and insets sections of lamé. She's managed to loosen up the strictures of cocktail dressing a bit by inserting ease, and among her other options, she included what amounts to a lamé jogging suit. Still, what stands out here are the more elaborate evening options, the sort that Loris Azzaro himself created. Castello Branco has shown herself to be a conscientious steward of house traditions in small ways: Her lookbook photos for Resort, for example, refer back to a 1975 Azzaro perfume ad in which the founder looks on from a celestial window as a nun in lipstick applies her scent. But the truer homage may come from the exquisitely beaded gowns that closed out the collection, each painstakingly hand-worked for two weeks by a husband-and-wife team who have been with the atelier for 30 years. "They are the memoire vivant of the house," the designer said.