After a season's rest from the runway, Emma Cook has re-emerged with a collection that looks fresh, but also several degrees more grown-up and polished. Her delicate shell-pink draped jersey dress, cinched with a silver metal ivy-leaf belt, made a sweet, clean opener at a show staged in the Royal Academy of Arts. (Striving to win attention for young talent, London Fashion Week has chosen some new, very classy central locations, rather than leaving audiences to scrabble for novelty in the dingy back-street venues of the East End.)

Cook, though, is not the newest of the new, and that's all to the better. This is her eighth season since leaving Central Saint Martins, and she's had time to develop a girlish, though not unbearably cute, personality with some original twists. That comes through in the way she might add a detail of a knotted hemline in a soft tulip skirt, or scatter a vaguely Art Nouveau print of foliage, moths, and birds on a white lawn pinafore.

In a season when pretty dresses and femininity are so ubiquitous, Cook did well to avoid retro referencing and clichéd frilliness. She leavened her look with a few cropped sweats and wide-leg cuffed pants that hit an attractively practical note. There were a couple of odder notions (jersey jumpsuits with baggy bottoms, anyone?), but for the most part, this small collection hit a good note.