Sarah Burton's Resort collection for Alexander McQueen channeled Rosie the Riveter by way of Laurel Canyon, but her new offering for the lower-priced McQ line felt much more connected to the street. It came through in the emphasis on elevated but still utilitarian basics. Jeans with a crackled-paint effect, sweatshirts decorated with metal swallows (a persistent symbol for the label), and bomber jackets in leather or silk were not unlike of-the-moment pieces you'd see at other contemporary brands.

What set this offering apart—other than the very London-in-the-nineties quality of printed bondage pants with D-rings, which will have their own irresistible appeal for a certain kind of customer—was the suiting. Jackets had the strong, sharp look long associated with Lee McQueen: the pronounced shoulder, the narrow sleeve, the elaborate seaming in the back. Burton added her own soft touch via draped lapels edged with narrow bands of fringe. At McQ's price point, it's not easy finding the kind of precise tailoring required to make the collection's strongest look, a double-breasted tuxedo dress with satin lapels. The question that was going around the showroom at our appointment was, When is New York going to get its own McQ store?