felt he was moving well out of his comfort zone with Resort because he'd built the collection around two elements he claimed he had no compatibility with—femininity and classic floral prints. It's the kind of quirky personal challenge that has always worked wonders for, say, Miuccia Prada, and by taking his bêtes noires and, as he put it, "making them something to live with," Saunders hit pay dirt, too. Fact is, the feminine and the floral are quite compatible in themselves, so there was beauty plain and simple in a long white gown, elegantly draped at the neck and wreathed in a print of English roses that Saunders found in an old Victorian textile archive. But he insisted it was "traditional beauty demolished" because he'd mutated the print, cutting away the flowers and blending them with a geometric grid he borrowed from the exterior of an Art Deco building in London.
The same trad-vs.-futurist face-off determined the essence of the collection, spectacularly so in a drop-waisted dress featuring that hybrid floral print overlaid with a laser-perforated chiffon shift. It was like a twenty-first-century flapper dress, madcap and
sexy, especially when swathed in one of Saunders' ravishing chiffon shawls. And its gotta-sing-gotta-dance brio threw the spotlight on the essential physicality of the designer's clothes. He's a huge fan of modern dance. That might explain why there were enough circle skirts in this collection to clothe a road show of Oklahoma!
But the way Saunders used an Aertex-like silk tulle as sleeves on a dress or as an overlay on chiffon brought an irresistibly light athleticism. If that's his take on modern femininity, it's a winner.