Albert Kriemler isn't the kind of designer who looks for inspiration in movies, but something about the 1968 film Two for the Road, in which Audrey Hepburn ditches her Givenchy for blue jeans, really resonated with him. While you won't find denim in his pre-fall collection for Akris, there's a newfound casualness to, say, a cashmere rugby stripe dress or the second-skin knits with contrast tipping at the shoulders.

That said, Kriemler hasn't neglected the needs of his power women clients. He cut a sharp pantsuit in a bold, no-going-unnoticed plaid, and whipped up a great-looking sleeveless shift with a supple leather bodice and a two-for-one cashmere skirt. Unbutton the two buttons at the waist, and in place of the full skirt there's a narrow pencil. The most powerful power woman of the moment (Michelle Obama, duh) should add it to the top of her shopping list.