The penthouse of the St. Regis is plenty fabulous, but the crush of people at Dennis Basso's presentation left the proceedings feeling slightly undignified. Basso and his Upper East Side posse are runway people; next season it would be smart to return to the tents. The format wasn't the only thing that was new. Basso, who's slowly been augmenting his statement furs with understated but still sumptuous daywear and cocktail dresses, went full-on evening this season. The dresses were bigger, the adornments were shinier, the fringe was fringier…. Basso's furs didn't stand a chance. But these are clothes for warm nights, so perhaps, as the designer pointed out, all you really need is a little broadtail capelet. As for the dresses, there were hits and misses. A body-skimming knee-length number with a hand-embroidered
lace bodice and a gold and silver fringe skirt fell into the former category, while an assertive, full-skirted gown in sapphire blue—worn with a fur dyed to match—fell flat. The couture level of detailing on all the looks was impressive, but overall the collection missed the restraint Basso has shown in seasons past.