Thirty-year-old Christopher Bailey is the designer charged with inventing a convincing identity for Burberry Prorsum—and solving the riddle of how to make that legendary plaid cool again. Now in his third season, he’s finding his stride, contributing a young, casual British feel to the collection without losing sight of the need to appeal to a sophisticated international audience.

Bailey picked up on the military/sport theme that has surfaced on so many other runways for spring, but managed to make something quirkily different of it. He matched cashmere jog pants and knickers, as well as leather biker pants, with sporty jackets—some made in mesh—and showed a macintosh, the mainstay of the house, in dark-green canvas with exposed zippers—a neat compromise between quality and cool. Against this solid background came a few injections of personality, like ’60s-inspired checkerboard patterns on sweaters and a light version of a college scarf, shot through with a bright lamé stripe. The new Burberry check, meanwhile, came scaled up, in soft green, on a shrunken jacket that had been distressed to look like a favorite personal piece. It worked.