When he bent his mind to his new collection, Paul Smith was thinking about the sons of his friends, boys in their late teens or early twenties who might show up for one of those posh weekend-house parties—a totem of the Smith ethos—with things missing from their kit.

Which, in a nutshell, was the new Paul Smith collection—the appropriate vs. the improvised. Crumpled suits might have been pulled straight from the suitcase in which they'd been balled up. A cable-knit rollneck paired with a satin-trimmed jacket was an uneasy compromise between day and night; likewise, the black silk jacket and indigo jeans. A velvet jacket thrown over a T-shirt also embodied the improvised, dressy moment. Smith grabbed the Union Jack and broke it every which way to underline the random spirit of his inspiration: The waistcoat underneath a citron velvet jacket looked surprisingly cool. Elsewhere, the designer fell back on the most traditional elements: pinstripes, plaids, houndstooths, tattersall checks, corduroy. Smart move—there's no point to subversion unless you have the original for reference. The sound track by Pete Smith and Andrew Hale certainly agreed.