Boudicca is one of the few labels that believes in something beyond the joy of seeing lovely clothes, and its shows are always intense, out-there spectacles—this one featured dark, defiant stomping through black cinders. But though designers Zowie Broach and Brian Kirkby might flinch to hear it, it is simply the bold sophistication of their work that sets them head and shoulders above anyone else in London.

For spring, tailoring was razored to the ribs and strong in the shoulder. Voluminous white blouses had dramatic collars and asymmetric swagger. Chiffon dresses came devised with trailing scarves and panels of overlapping pleats that refused to obey the logic of a hemline. These are obsessions the couple has always harbored, and in their own Goth-minded way, they admitted this collection was a step toward consolidating the rock-solid identity the label needs in order to reach new markets. "It was about the ghost of autumn 2004 haunting summer 2005," Broach said. Strip away the complex, tied-on extras, and underneath there's a collection of extraordinary pieces that, on a rail, will hold their own next to anything in Boudicca's home town—and beyond.