With its funny printed pants, sailor stripes, and boat shoes, Karen Walker's Spring collection initially read "Nantucket." But the designer's inspiration actually came from an oceanfront an ocean away. Walker has been viewing episodes of the cult sixties British television show The Prisoner, which details the life of an Edwardian seaside resort that's in fact a jail for retired spies. Ah, now that's a richer source than a New England island that's a sanctuary for billionaires. From it, Walker extracted not only her raw materials—sailor stripes, navy blazers, the Edwardian frill, and jaunty chinos—but also the idea of opposing forces (as in holiday destination as place of incarceration).

Hence Walker's quiet subversion of classics: the outré gold zips on a cropped navy trench, for example, or the unexpected bright hues of the boat shoes paired with nearly every look (a new collaboration with cool Brit brand Pointer). And while some of her prints—like a lovely pennant version on jersey dresses and bags—played directly to the seaside theme, she countered the nauticalia with a fab trippy sixties pattern and a China blue toile.

The effect of all of the above? Signature Walker, mixed and matched with a sure hand, a bit mad yet wholly infectious. After last season's polished look, this was a return to a more girlish silhouette, but there was certainly enough here to lock in the growing number of Walkerites of all ages.