Eclecticism in fashion is a slippery slope. Hit just right, it works, but past a certain threshold, it becomes a mess. The new Joseph collection stood right astride that blurry line.

The range was inspired by the work of stylist Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele and her influential mix-and-match, piled-on, high-and-low approach to fashion. With that in mind, designer Louise Trotter ginned up an assortment of usual suspect references: Chanel bouclé, preppy English check, polka dots, punkish studs and motorcycle jackets, and, predominantly, military and nautical apparel, both of which were quoted very directly. And all that was thrown in the blender with Joseph-trademark looks such as sporty track pants and fluid shirting.

The problem here wasn't the grab bag of references. And within each of her themes, Trotter conjured up lots of strong pieces that ought to kill on the sales floor. But there wasn't a clear, overarching look to this collection, and the individually appealing items were buried under layering. Ultimately, the eclecticism felt forced.