It used to be a dependable assumption that an Agi & Sam collection would run riot with color. It was a surprise, then, to find the duo—who, in December, were crowned with the British Fashion Award for best emerging menswear designers—in stark black and white. The change did them good. There were still plenty of their beloved prints, lifted from African woven fabrics and the Masai check that's a bit of a birthright for Agi Mdumulla (he descends from a Masai warrior, and his recent trip through Masai territory inspired the whole collection), but this outing had a sharper, more focused feel than last season's, thanks in part to the reduced palette.

In their show notes, Mdumulla and Sam Cotton riffed on the first world versus the third world, exploitation and appropriation. They imagined traditional Western garments—double-breasted coats and tailored suit jackets, for example—transformed by the addition of long, flowing layers, like those worn by African tribesmen. They even went so far as to create vinyl-printed tops with faux logos for African oil companies, selling the first world a bogus bill of goods. The political tangle of it was a tall order for a nine a.m. show. The luck of it was, the collection didn't need to rest on its concept to have immediate appeal.