"Things that I love," said Jonathan Saunders. "That's what Resort should be." Maybe that's why his Fall collection stumbled. He described its palette as "earthy," but Saunders is acid, not earth. Resort took him right back to Candyland. Colors and prints popped with the synthetic sizzle that he does so well. Saunders cited the PoMo slickness of the Milanese design group Memphis in the 1980s and the artful irony of Pet Shop Boys album sleeves in the early nineties as reference points. One particular circular "Bubble Wrap" print was directly inspired by PSB's plastic wrap for their 1993 release, Very. The effect was 3-D, duplicated more subtly in pieces cut from a beautiful/ugly blend of silk and Lurex. It felt like a sticky organza, but it floated like magic.
The presence of Memphis was strongest in the artificial color scheme. Saunders likes a clash. Pistachio and chartreuse was his favorite. In fact, shades of green clashing with everything was a leitmotif, all the way to a printed chiffon evening gown that shaded together leaf green and black. It was borderline lurid, but that is quintessential Saunders. It energizes him, and one reason this collection worked so well is that he'd found the fabrics to match. The key was body-conscious bonding: double-face jerseys heat-pressed with big, blowsy tulips, silks, and cottons backed with jersey, and sheaths with raw-edged hems bonded so that they, too, had a peculiar dimensionality. "I've been working on that for a year," Saunders said.
"A real Resort collection," he called it, and he wasn't wrong. These clothes will sing in the sunshine—the harder the glare, the better.