Summer, which quietly sits in wait for the burst of activity surrounding preparations for the fall collections, is a time when even designers think of relaxation, recreation and roving.
We asked several American designers for a short, verbal essay on their summer vacations.
Ogling at orchids, puttering in the peat moss and scaling the Great Wall of China are just a sampling of relaxation tonics.
Here's what these stitch artists planned for their vacations:
Geoffrey Beene: "I'm going to Hawaii where I'll beachcomb and search for exotic orchids and probably drink lots of pina coladas. There's also one of the best Northern Chinese restaurants in all the world there."
Bill Blass: "I don't believe in vacations per se. I like to go to my house in Connecticut and just putter. I get bored out of my mind on a long vacation. I usually go to London in the summer, but I have too much work right now so I'll wait."
Ralph Lauren: "I'm going to my ranch in Colorado with the family. It's relaxing there and I like to spend time with the kids."
Nolan Miller: "For my summer vacation, I did two movies. Elizabeth Taylor asked me to do a TV movie called 'There Must Be a Pony.' And Ann-Margret also asked me to do 'The Two Mrs. Grenvilles.' I did about 52 changes for her. And I have to start now on 'Dynasty' and 'The Colbys.' I did do a 'Dynasty' fashion cruise to the Caribbean on the Royal Princess. That was like a vacation even though we did five fashion shows."
Alexander Julian: "Wait. I have to go to the dictionary to look up the word vacation. Designing is not like teaching. You don't get the summer off. I took off a few days to take my daughter, Alystyre, to summer school at UCLA. We flew into San Francisco and drove down Highway 1 to Los Angeles."
Marc Jacobs: "A summer what? I haven't had one of those things called vacations since I was in school. No, actually I just got back from Jamaica. We had five days of glorious rain. We stayed in the James Bond House once owned by Ian Fleming. We changed clothes about six times a day to entertain each other. I bought straw hats and baskets and made charm bracelets out of black coral."
Oscar de la Renta: "I had a vacation last year, and I only take one every two years. Just kidding. I'm taking some time this summer to be in Turkey on a boat for about 10 days."
Donna Karan: "I don't take vacations. But I have a house at Water Island on Fire Island where I take long weekends. It's right on the water. It's like going to a private island. I have a cook come in so I don't have to do anything. I come back refreshed and inspired by the colors I see there."
David Hayes: "I'm fixing up a new house--a little villa behind the Beverly Hills Hotel. I'll be decorating and planting. I love doing it myself. It's the kind of house I've wanted all my life."
Norma Kamali: "I'm spending my summer vacation working on my two newest projects--my Soho store and launching my new fragrance. I'm also learning how to drive."
James Galanos: "I hope to get a couple of weeks off in September after my fall show."
Calvin Klein: "I'm going to my country house on Long Island to relax."
Michaele Vollbracht: "I went to the President's dinner on Governor's Island on July 4. I dressed Mrs. Iacocca for the event. That was my summer vacation."
Gene Ewing: "We're going to the spa on the border of Germany and Switzerland called the Four Seasons. We want to see what rejuvenation is about. You can even have your blood changed if you want to. I understand the elite of the world go there. That's how they stay healthy."
Robert Stock: "At my house in East Hampton, I swim, play tennis, read, sail and lead the life of complete leisure."
Carolina Herrera: "I'm spending the month of August in Venezuela where we have a house. I've done everything I don't have time to do in New York--play tennis, take care of myself, get massages and see only the people I want to see."
Mary Ann Restivo: "I'm going to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Peking. My husband and I want to see the Great Wall. I also look at fabrics, historic sites and antiques, which give me lots of ideas, so I'm working while I'm playing."
Mary McFadden: "I went to Johannes von Thurn und Taxis' birthday party in Regensburg, Germany. It's the year of Mad King Ludwig, so I did all the palaces and museums. Then I went to Turkey to stay with the Ahmet Erteguns who have a house there--and also to Istanbul."
Bill Robinson: "Usually I go somewhere exotic like Morocco, but since this is the first year for my own business, I'm just going to my house in Bucks County, Pa. I'm going out for 10 days and be very rural Americana."
Carolyne Roehm: "I've been a very bad girl and am having a long vacation in Porto Ercole for the whole month of August. I love to cook, so I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen learning new pasta dishes."
Jeffrey Banks: "I'll be at the beach reading. I just bought Hugo Vickers' biography of Cecil Beaton."
Jhane Barnes: "I don't get one this year. Let me ask my staff. They do all the fun things."