Zowie Broach and Brian Kirkby carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Their Boudicca presentations are symbolic, troubling experiences, drawn from sources so deep inside their heads there ought to be a handbook with footnotes. But then again, who needs explanations? Even at the far reaches of the avant-garde, fashion isn’t—or shouldn’t be—that complicated.

Boudicca’s Spring spectacle left viewers groping for meaning once again. The stage was set with a black-painted skeleton, a stuffed black swan, bowls of black-painted apples and digital clocks that the models punched into action as they passed, in the same clothes, over and over again. It was surreal, painfully slow and much like being trapped in a looping dream—exactly the vibe the designers intended.

Did the clothes mitigate the torture-by-conceptualism? Almost. There were beautiful asymmetric jersey dresses as well as elegant one-sleeved taffeta gowns. A normal woman could wear these statuesque, graceful clothes without being an involuntary walking art manifesto. In the end, it’s as simple as that.