Wednesday 15th November

| BY Jack Moss

Alexander McQueen: Resort 2018

There is something slightly odd about the timing of the recent slew of Resort collections that have arrived in 10’s inboxes of late. These are, after all, collections created months ago, and designed months before that – collections that would have, in the fashion calendar of yore, slotted between a house’s Fall and Spring offerings.

And yet here we are, weeks after the Spring shows and we are seeing these collections (save for previews for selected Editors) for the very first time. Why? Because this is when these Resort collections arrive in store – allowing customers to see, then buy. Which makes sense.

It means that these Resort collections become a sort of precursor for the mainline collection that followed – an insight into the designer’s creative process, how ideas germinate and expand. Take the above, Sarah Burton’s Resort 2018 collection for Alexander McQueen, for example – a sort of anticipatory gasp of what we would later see at the British house’s Spring 2018 show in Paris – namely, an exploration of English garden life.

And what says garden quite like flowers? Here, they begin as delicate roses on lace, or on faded, curtain-like panels stitched into outerwear – before blooming into bolder couture-like embroidery, or twisting, in crimson-red, around a showstopper of a corseted black gown.

But this collection is also about the eccentricity of British gardens and the women who tend them – the fairytale swathes of pink chiffon meeting heartier outdoor-wear – roomy mac jackets, heavy, work-ready lace-up shoes, argyll knits and top-stitched fabrics with the effect of denim.

The result is something between hard and soft – the terrain that Sarah Burton, and Lee McQueen before her, knows so well.