There comes a time when all outrageous young London designers must stop poking their tongues out at convention and start thinking about how to do more than give their 25 closest fans a great laugh. Unexpectedlyfor they were the guys who rose to notoriety on their flying-penis prints two years agoBasso & Brooke have had the good sense to know when to move on (and just in time, since others have already arrived to occupy the city's naughty slot). The collection they showed today left hardness and vulgarity behind, and took off in a direction that looked approachably commercial for the first time.
For spring, they dropped their overwrought obsession with the eighties and went toward the stylistically safer twenties instead. They used the template of drop-waist, handkerchief-point flapper dresses as a frame for their prints, which were inspired by exotic travel. There were elephants, bamboo, birds, flowers, and mothswith nothing untoward lurking in the jungle, at least that could be seen from a distance. In fact, as the show went on, the realization began to flicker that Basso & Brooke might even be capable of delicacy. Gold-dabbed and silver-shot fabrics, combined with underlying prints, had a butterfly-wing effect that in places looked quite lovely.