A Stella McCartney presentation—even for an inter-season collection—is never less than an event. For Resort, the designer threw a garden party at St. Luke's in the West Village, where models knocked around croquet balls and played Ping-Pong as vendors served "Stella's Shave Ice" and waiters toted trays of Guinness. "Have a beer!" McCartney chided one teetotaling editor.

In lesser hands, the theatrics of McCartney's three-ring presentations might dwarf the clothes they're created to show, but in her case there's method to the merriment. McCartney spoke of making each piece special, from the Hawaiian-printed tunic tops to the cropped seersucker shorts. That's not empty bragging; that's a business strategy. Resort is a sales-driven collection, and the designer is the first to admit that it's the rare client who's going to be able to wear her collection head to toe. More likely she'll snag some favorite items here and there and integrate them into her own wardrobe—just as McCartney pulls together pieces from her various collections herself.

The clothes here are made to be mixed. McCartney played up the point by combining prints recklessly—Hawaiian with seersucker, houndstooth with "deck chair stripe." The shapes she proposed are largely label standards, with seasonal tweaks: the tailored jacket (here, an elongated crombie, nipped slightly closer to the body than usual); the cuffed cigarette pant; a long, menswear-shirting top, here embroidered with brilliant palm trees. For added pop, there were bubble-shaped capes, color-blocked mélange knits, and a sheer blouse bedecked with bows. If that sounds like a shopping list, that's the point. "There's a lot of versatility; that's what's nice about a [Resort] collection," McCartney said. "You don't have to be so controlled. You can give a lot of different people a lot of different things and not be afraid to do that."