"I just wrapped up 100,000 miles of travel," said Karen Walker over the phone from her home in New Zealand. "All I want to do is sit on my couch." So for Resort, Walker focused on "anti-going out" clothes. "As non-fancy as possible," she explained.
The look was indeed relaxed, but it couldn't be mistaken for loungewear. Walker worked with cottons, linens, and chambrays in blue and white to create dresses, tops, and skirts that were roomy all over. Fabric details—including smocking at the collar of a chambray top, single ruffles on the seams of a popover dress, and floral toile on a short skirt—referenced "old-world domesticity," but this wasn't about muumuus and house slippers. The designer managed to keep things from looking sloppy by being extra careful with proportions. Yes, many of the dresses and tops were A-line, and shoulders were dropped, but nothing was too wide or too low. In fact, there wasn't a pleated-waist skirt or a baby doll dress in the mix that wouldn't work far beyond the backyard. (A gray chambray jacket and miniskirt actually passed as a suit.) Even the collection's novelty graphic—a house cat sitting behind a plotted plant—was more street than sleepover. Walker herself plans to wear loads of this stuff on an upcoming work trip to Korea. "I need to stop by our press room and pull samples," she said. So much for hanging at home.