John Patrick named his collection A Beautiful Vision, after a Julia Margaret Cameron photograph of her niece Julia Duckworth. You could trace the sepia-toned line to the floral print on his lovely double-faced silk dresses, which looked like Victorian wallpaper through just-woken-up eyes. The enveloping greatcoat silhouette here was cut in trench-appropriate khaki, but in wool it would have been just the thing to beat a damp draft circa 1880. Though a less direct connection to that hazy romance, leather was also a big part of the story. "Inspiration doesn't have to march in lockstep," said Patrick. At times, as in the case of a fetish-lite black leather hooded duffel coat, it worked to counter the rosy-cheeked sweetness of Patrick's slouchy layered looks with their half-tucked shirttails. But it also served to upgrade the staple-driven collection from casual to luxury status. The fuzzy hand-loomed knits and sturdy outerwear that rounded out the English countryside feel did the same. One smart outerwear spin was to merge two heritage elements, herringbone tweeds with the quilted Barbour. In all, after last season's homage to Gap, this collection gave you more to chew on.
As ever at Organic
, there's a tale of sustainability to tell. This season's came courtesy of Raleigh Denim, with whom Patrick collaborated on the collection's raw denim jeans, apparently made from recycled TV-dinner trays. A respected buyer pointed out that denim sans stretch is a tough sell these days. Alas, the good fight was never easy.