Sigmund Freud insisted women were a perennial mystery. That was before
he went to a Paul Smith
show. Who was this woman, progressing from a sharply tailored hunting jacket (albeit in a lurid yellow) through trad tweed, gray flannel, and florals to a pair of plus fours in aqua-colored plastic? I guess she was kind of a country girl, but someone had clearly laced her punch, because she became progressively more unhinged as the show went on. Admittedly, she was wearing green support hose printed with riding boots from the onset (now there's an economical answer to the cost of shoe leather), but for a while, she almost caught the mood of Madonna in her strict lady-of-the-manor moment. The gray pleated skirt, the gray hacking jacket, the black tailcoat with the plus fours—so muted. But maybe she'd been curled up with Julien Macdonald
reading Jilly Cooper's Riders
, because the good country girl came over with a big case of bad. She slipped into a lurid orange cocktail dress and fishnet tights, and sheer gauzy knits that slouched off one shoulder. Then her fishnets had big holes in them, and she was wearing punky red and black striped knits and a full-skirted fifties party dress covered with black netting. And thus we came to those plastic plus fours, which is where we left Sigmund scratching his head.