Among the various connotations of the word resort, there's the one which suggests well-heeled, no-fuss patrician leisure. That was the vein Richard Nicoll tapped with a tightly edited pre-collection. He made his point with crisp poplins and piqués and a summery, ice creamy color palette. Perhaps the sporty clarity was influenced by the menswear collection Nicoll is launching in London later this week. There was certainly a masculine inflection in a shirtdress cut from banker's stripes. (Nicoll's original focus at Saint Martins was, after all, menswear.)
But the designer contrasted the essential conservatism of such pieces with the subtle flamboyance of a coat and jacket in a Regency floral jacquard from Stephen Walters and Sons, who have been weaving silk in Suffolk since the 1720's. The contrast was the clearest illustration of the versatility with which Nicoll claimed he was courting a range of age groups and body shapes, perhaps a little ambitious given that these clothes had an innately athletic sensuality that seemed best suited to lithe young bodies. The lambskin shift in a beige-trimmed pale aqua, for instance. Or the hoodie. Or the bustier dress. Kudos to Nicoll that such looks would work equally on glittery Capri or gritty Kingsland Road, the East End artery that runs past his studio.