September 22, 2003 London
Saunders referenced M.C. Escher, the Italian thirties futurist Vasselli, and nineties rave culture, mixed them into a vivid palette of clear blues, greens, yellow, orange, and violet, and emerged with a look that could only have been imagined by a child of the digital age. His taut, strapless all-in-ones and tube dresses featured complex geometric patterns, ombré shading, and graphic lines which broke into different configurations as they ran over each zone of the anatomy. Those simple, lithe shapes, partly derived from dancewear, were counterpointed by floaty dresses caught into beautifully pintucked bodices or full skirts gathered onto jersey yokes.
Saunders’s talents as a colorist and pattern-meister are already being tapped by the major labels; his contribution to Alexander McQueen’s stunning bird-of-paradise prints of last summer have since earned him consultancies at both Pucci and Chloé. But with this young, vibrantly modern collection, he’s on the brink of winning well-deserved recognition in his own right.