"This season we went a touch masculine," Dennis Basso said backstage before his show. "Women like that." Everything is relative chez Basso, of course, where a huge fox-fur snood isn't worthy of a mention in the liner notes ("What else would you wear about your neck?" it seemed to suggest). So in the context of Fall, "masculine" meant fewer silk and organza cocktail frocks and more hand-knit cashmere sweater dresses. Basso said he'd focused on tailoring this season, too, but it was the sporty finishes on several multi-pelt fur coats that stuck out. They had drawstring detailing at the cuffs and waist, creating a nipped-in yet spacious look, almost like a puffer coat, but—hello, broadtail and mink!—so much chicer.
Huge hoods were a new addition, too; these are coats meant to be worn on a bitingly cold day, not puff pieces for draping over your shoulders on the way to the car. Those sweater dresses, which also came in mohair, had a winningly homespun quality (again, think relatively here). Hand-crocheted or, in the case of the cashmere number, sewn onto mesh, they were a convincing alternative to the shimmery finery Basso usually slips under his furs. But perhaps the best example of Basso's tougher Fall look was the pair of mid-calf kidassia skirts, one in a gorgeous gunmetal ombre. Less lustrous than fox or mink, the goat hair had a raw quality and a deep, sexy, textured depth. Women like that, too.