Lately, Dirk Schönberger has been trying to get to the bottom of his irrational attachment to America, and he's come to the realization that it's the romantic ideal of frontierless freedom he loves. He dedicated his latest collection to a modern-day Beat generation, the kind of 21st-century Kerouacs who might still be willing to crash through those frontiers.

In doing so, Schönberger looked back unavoidably to the 1950's, the time of the original Beats, for inspiration. One of the most striking items was an A-line cape jacket, like something he remembered his grandfather wearing. The breeches were also a fifties affectation. And the shawl-collared jacket and brothel creepers recalled the formal style of the original Teddy boys. In fact, formality prevailed throughout the collection, in deep-pleated pants paired with a ruffled shirt, a glazed-cotton tux, or a full-cut suit with the silvery sheen that has established itself as the most popular surface treatment for spring 2007.

Schönberger placed a strong emphasis on construction, pleating and folding his fabrics. Proportion was important, too. Trousers were either narrow and cuffed, or as generous as sailor pants, with a button-down waist. The precision and polish of the clothes suggested a talent that the fashion giants ought to bear in mind, should they start playing musical chairs with their designers again.