Titling his show after a fifth century Algerian queen, Todd Lynn - bizarrely - pretty much laid his cards face-up on the table. The collection examined Middle Eastern dress, and sought to juxtapose the tailored and the unstructured, mixing Lynn's signature sharp-shouldered suits with touches of soft drapery. Long cheesecloth tunics were softly swathed across the hip, tugged over skinny trousers and layered under short jackets, firmly fitted with diagonal slashes of darts - and that was pretty much the whole story. Lawrence of Arabia spoke of sand blindness in the desert, and in Lynn's similarly arid and predominantly grey landscape of chalky, worn-in linen, it was difficult to differentiate between night and day, man and woman, spring and summer. He let accessories do the talking, or sometimes the shouting, in the case of a pair of armourial shoulderblades of beaten silver by jeweller Shaun Leane. Tufted horsehair strapped to elbows and fantastic snub-toe Louboutin mules lashed to models' feet were much more successful, although when the former fringe emerged from the hips (adding extra yards rather than inches) it lost all fashion credibility. Lynn knows his strength lies in tailoring, and it's what he's built his business on. Nevertheless, you hoped he may push himself to create something new, particularly as summer never seems the right moment to button oneself into a harsh little jacket. Add to this the sheer deluge of androgynous trousersuits with which we were confronted, without a single skirt and indeed very few evident touches of femininity to soften the blow, and this show, although accomplished, was left sorely lacking.
One hoped Todd Lynn may push himself to create something new, particularly as summer never seems the right moment to button oneself into a harsh little jacket.