The most intriguing element in the Alexander McQueen Resort collection was the gleeful spirit of vandalism that spritzed a huge red cross across a tidy little jacquard coat. Letting go is something you crave from McQueen, and here was one signal instance of Sarah Burton doing that. Like so many of her London peers this season, she wove her Resortwear and her menswear together: The red, white, and black Kabuki-ness of the men's collection she showed in London came round again. So did the collage of classic patterns, like houndstooth and Prince of Wales check cut in a wide-legged pantsuit. And there was a definite Japanese undertow in the floral cutouts, like antique screens. Or maybe like Matisse.
Yep, Burton had been as enthralled by the exhibition of Matisse cutouts at the Tate Modern as the rest of London. She captured a flavor of the show in her own cutout flowers. They were embroidered on houndstooth, carved into napa leather, or laser cut from silk and laid across the body in the kind of dauntingly precise symmetry that defines McQueen.
Precision is the ultimate weapon in Burton's arsenal. A mackintosh-cum-dress in navy vinyl bonded in white leather might be one of the single most intimidating outfits of the Resort season. But give it a moment and the unholy rampant sensuality of such an item made an unforgettable connection. After all, the only thing you can really do in that look is let go.