A trip to Japan got Marcus Wainwright and David Neville's creative juices flowing. "I've always wanted a samurai sword," enthused Wainwright backstage, "and I've always loved Star Wars." If not downright dangerous, that's dicey territory to say the least, but their models didn't look like refugees from some George Lucas flick. In shiny crash-proof basket-weave dresses, Loro Piana waterproof wool coats, second-skin ninja trousers, and the occasional chain-mail slip, they were latter-day urban warriors.

A suitable image for the economic end-times upon us, yes—and one that gave the designers plenty of opportunity to flex their tailoring chops; to give one example, model Freja Beha Erichsen in a boxy cheviot jacket, waistcoat, and tux shirt over slouchy "haraki" pants (Rag & Bone's answer to the omnipresent dropped-crotch look).

The message wasn't entirely postapocalyptic, however. A black wool herringbone tuxedo dress had sex appeal to spare; likewise its more casual cousin, a blue chambray tuxedo shirtdress topped by a narrow gray vest. On the softer, more girlish side, there was a printed silk dress accessorized with an obilike indigo and leather quilted belt, and a skirt in the same fabric topped by a cocoon-y navy kimono cardigan. After last season's dip into England's eighties-pop subcultures, this collection felt a whole lot more modern and vital.