Towards the end of 2015 you couldn’t move around a fashion website or the style section of a newspaper without coming across some think piece or op-ed lamenting the current state of the industry. Some say we’re moving too fast - zooming at an unmaintainable pace. Others say the fashion industry is too conservative, playing at innovation without embracing genuine change or innovation. Forward or back? New or old? Innovative or backward? Who knows. Either way, it’s apt that Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell of Cottweiler seemed to embrace the state of flux they, and other designers, find themselves in for A/W 16. They looked at the paradoxes and parallels apparent within a post civilised society. They talked of ‘a new state of agronomic autonomy where the recovery of ideologies from the first neolithic settlements collide with technologies and philosophical structures.’ To hammer the point home they’d arranged their models around an installation packed with wheat ears, created by Richard Whittle. Sound confusing? It was. Very. But that’s apt for the duo - their references are rich, complex and layered. Most importantly, they’re not immediately obvious when analysing their clothes. That may frustrate at points, but really it doesn’t matter. When your collection is as strong, and commercially appealing, as their offering for A/W 16, you can relax that your clothes are making enough comment without the need for a complex narrative. The overt minimalism of last season had given way to a richer collection - nodding to their given theme, natural fibres had been encased in tinted cellophane, a seductive proposition. The humble corn emblems that decorated key pieces, though sure to appeal to a shopper, seemed at odds with the overall feel - the pair may have been looking back for A/W 16, but this collection moved them further forward than ever.