Outdoor pursuits, country houses and show-jumping are all things evocative of Paul Smith's Autumn/Winter collection. Except, rather than being aimed at the stuffy old Lady of the Manor, this collection was all about her rebellious debutante daughter.
It is not the first time this week that we have been shown a collection firmly rooted in the traditions of aristocratic life in the English countryside. But then, equestrian inspired clothing and the English Heritage aesthetic has always been easy fodder for autumn/winter collections. And that isn't to say it's not a versatile look - Smith's idea of rural country life is a good few miles away from, say, Macdonald's vision.
Within the first two looks that came striding down the catwalk, in the suitably refined surroundings of Claridge's ballroom, it was obvious that Smith had found his theme and was going to stick right to it. And in case it wasn't quite clear enough what his intentions were, cardigans with simplistic riding scenes knitted into them made sure we understood the vein this collection was following.
Tweed capes, plus fours and tight mid calf boots made to look like wellingtons were not anything especially new, but the acid brights they were shown in certainly made for a refreshing change. Similarly, pencil skirts and leggings were fastened from top to bottom using suggestive cross lacing, which gave a nod to the naughty young aristocrat Smith spoke of.
Full, loosely pleated A-line skirts and frocks, printed with ditsy floral patterns, were playful and signalled a move away from the riding wear. The addition of ripped fish nets managed to save the collection from a sickly syrupy mess. As did the layering of black and red striped crocheted cardigans - the type of garment anyone would recognise as a staple in a teenager's wardrobe. A red vinyl tiered dress marked the final transformation of the good country girl to misbehaving adolescent.