Apparently figuring that it was time to focus more on the brand heritage of Aquascutum—a decision that coincides with a change of management at HQ—Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler were in a comparatively subdued mood for spring. Essentially, they've been drafted into the battle of the British trenches, a tricky field to contest when Christopher Bailey at Burberry—but a short walk across Piccadilly Circus—has already stolen the march on that.

The tactic Herz-Fidler adopted was to go to the archive and abstract the surfaces of the classic Aquascutum mac. They did that by taking elements like pleating, tucks, and smocking and working them onto zones of raincoats and trench jackets. This looked effective, as did a barrel-shaped, olive three-quarter coat, but otherwise the collection seemed to lack the oomph of their first few outings. The addition of more regular-looking shirts and pants watered down the youthful experimentalism of their work, and when they sent out the odd raffia-skirted showpiece, it didn't make a coherent point. That was a shame, because when these boys are on the mark—as they were last season with an acid-yellow Empire coat that has been rapaciously copied up and down the high street—their talent can shine brighter than this