' show took place 20 or so floors above London's business district, with a panoramic view of the city's tallest buildings in the setting sun, looking as Blade Runner
-ish as they ever will. The analogy isn't as arbitrary as it sounds. Rachael the replicant was proper but twisted. So was Saunders' new collection. He started with the tone-iest of all associations—buttoned-up equestrian chic, starkly embodied here by a classic white stock-tie blouse—but his raw material was a peculiar Japanese photograph, which set him on a course to coloring his tailored coat-dresses and riding jackets with the extraordinary, off combinations that are a Saunders signature. For Fall, he's very taken by brown, lilac, and red. They were the incongruous anchors for the acid geometries that are another Saunders signature. The country-clubbiness of prim, long-sleeve shirtdresses; flared, box-pleated skirts; and sporty striped sweaters (occasionally paired with golfing visors) was equally subverted by palette and pattern. Though Saunders envisaged "a wealthy young woman" in his clothes, there was a definite through-line to the narcotized Sun Belt suburbanite of his Spring collection.
The designer made more play of texture than ever before, particularly with the embossed effect on coats, jackets, and skirts. It was another way to unbutton the equestrian spirit. But not all the collection cleaved to this subversive blueprint. Toward the end, a set of pieces embroidered with white star flowers had the delicacy of japonaiserie. One outfit, which paired an embroidered skirt with a green checkered sweater, had the appealingly elegant idiosyncrasy that saw Saunders' audience today once again turned out en masse in his clothes. And, Fall though it may be, the final red dress was a sweet invitation to the sun.