“Contrast,” commented Joseph creative director Louise Trotter, “has always been a big theme for me.” This season, she went on to say, she was really pushing the opposites—East versus West, tranquility versus energy, rawness versus refinement. The yin/yang of it all was apposite, given that Joseph is a brand that has sometimes seemed in the midst of an identity crisis. Is it a much-beloved multibrand shop with a house label that trades in elevated staples that help fill in the blanks of a designer wardrobe? Or is it a luxury fashion brand with a directional identity all its own? Joseph seems to want it both ways. No surprise, the brand has had mixed success with its more directional silhouettes, even as it reliably turns out excellent versions of the kinds of clothes it’s known for—knits, leathers, top-notch outerwear, fantastic pants, and slick menswear-inspired tailoring.