Determined by the beholder, visions of tropical paradises and gardens of Eden are certainly subjective entities. For some, paradise is a personal retreat; for others, it is a place for friends and family. For English eccentric artist Edward James (1907–1984), who created a surrealist paradise in the depths of a Mexican rainforest, it is a work of art. Edward James’ project sees a revival of an 18th century garden of earthly delights, a beautiful mix of architecture and nature for the viewing pleasure of the social elite. For James Long, it was this vision of paradise that influenced his current collection. Inspired by tropical pools and reclusive architecture, the designer explored the artist’s lifestyle as well as the work he created. Once dining with kings, Edward James gave up his wealth and privilege to live an openly hedonistic lifestyle as the king of his own jungle. The collection itself was a continually surprising sense of discovery, seeing leafy floral embroidered knits mixed with clashes of 70s snakeskin leathers and slurry leopard print shirts. Gold lurex combines with natural bamboo, linen and cotton yarns to create fine knits that overlay printed tropical shirts, whilst animal print leathers mix with glimmering gold and silver lamé aviator jackets, with one gold leather kimono jacket encapsulating the opulent aesthetics. Elsewhere, canvas bags and square leather clutches add functionality to the collection, with gladiator sandals adopting a chunky platform sole for those long tropical walks and rough forest floors. Faded pinks, blues and greens burn into creams and golds to emulate humid explorations and paradisiacal discoveries, whilst thigh-hugging gray tweed shorts and trousers remind us of the man that once was; a king of society now at home in the concrete jungle. The catwalk show was indeed a mélange of flora and fauna, Adam and Eve, silks, sequins, and leather. It worked extremely well for the designer, who has graduated into a force to be reckoned within the menswear world. In other hands, this collection could have been an exercise in camp, gaudy excess -and a mess. Yet as James Long infused everything with a patina of sun-bleached age and a downbeat, sludgy haze, as well as the confidence and technique to carry it all off with aplomb, it worked. The figure of Brian Eno loomed large. "I think he's been on every men's mood board I've ever done", the designer said. And it was the early Glam Eno, with all the femme elements of masculine provocation, that stopped this collection from becoming too girly. Instead, the standout snake sequined cardigans and jumpers were layered with the silk shirting that hinted at the intricate leopard and pansy patterns underneath.