What is it about polka dots? It's hard to contain them as a minor theme in a collection, and once you let them loose, they can end up smothering the lot. Perhaps that was where Richard Nicoll started to go wrong with his summer collection—that, and trying to stretch his ideas out too far.

What Nicoll does very well is shirts. He's even evolved his own signature shape, which is tight, strict, tucked to under the bust, and then floaty below, sometimes with extra long tails for good measure. That's a good look for a lot of women, and quite a smattering in the audience were already wearing his Victoriana winter version. Still, Nicoll has yet to work out what might be equally pleasing to go on the bottom half. For spring, his solution is voluminously pleated, polka-dotted pants, or otherwise short shorts, neither of which exactly have that instant must-wear appeal.