For Spring, Nicole Farhi and her menswear designer, Massimo Nicosia, clicked onto their look of the season from a trip to Brighton, one of England's seaside resort towns that has known tonier days. "I visited Brighton for the first time six months ago," the Italian-born Nicosia said backstage. "I found it fantastic and strange—a bit Las Vegas in a way." That's putting it mildly. Brighton to Britons conjures visions of questionable taste, which Nicosia admitted he was courting in this collection. His referenced muses were peacocks who didn't mind standing out, come hell or high water—the Regency dandy George IV on one hand, Mick Jagger circa the seventies on the other.
A collaboration with Sunspel, the heritage English underwear label, gave rise to under-turned-outerwear hybrids: elasticated pants in boxer short fabrics and prints, nylon-treated undershorts worn with tops tucked into their waistbands. Those may work better on the editorial page than the boardwalk (and, on the subject of seaside readiness, a beachy season seemed an odd time to collaborate with Tricker's on classic brogues). Better here were the simpler tailored pieces, slim-cut slacks and light jackets in oceanic blue. Among the explicitly Brighton-referencing ideas (deck chair stripes, woven shorts modeled on woven wicker laundry hampers), printed pieces based on the Royal Pavilion's decor were best. A bon mot of Laurence Olivier's gave the collection its epigraph: "Do you know what success smells like? It smells like Brighton." It dared you to wonder whether the converse is true.