After decades of practice, Sir Paul Smith gives good sound bite. "Hockney meets Bloomsbury" was his succinct summation of his women's collection for Spring. If that evokes a mélange of primary colors and florals with a twist of haute bourgeois eccentricity, then you clearly understand Sir Paul's shorthand. The color was strongest when applied to classic shapes, as evidenced by a cornflower-blue shirtwaist dress, a green parka, and a tomato-red blouse (the matching bow tie a prissy flourish). The elongated proportions of a knee-length cable knit with a dropped half-belt suggested Bloomsbury's bohemian languor, just as a silky floor-sweeping skirt or the floral print on a kimono-ish top hinted at the gardens of Charleston, where Vanessa Bell entertained her sister Virginia Woolf and their coterie.

The outfits had the artfully thrown-together quality you might find among the guests at a country house party: Formal and casual elements combined in such looks as a black velvet jacket over white cotton Bermudas, a little gray cardigan pulled over a red shirtwaist, or a blue cummerbund wrapping the waist of tiny shorts under a cardigan jacket. The same notion was elaborated on in a full white tie rig trimmed down to a shawl-collared tap suit, as well as in a rugby shirt stretched to the floor and given dress collar and cuffs. If there was a slightly random quality to the whole affair, you could argue that's always been Smith's charm.