Trompe l'oeil was Alexander Wang's big talking point for pre-fall. Menswear fabrics and strict tailoring were the collection's dominant motifs, but in his hands, classic houndstooth patterns and glen plaids became burnout sweaters and intarsia knit dresses, while jackets layered in transparent mesh were slit at the collar and lapels, the better to weave your long hair through. The concept extended to accessories: Mesh booties were designed to look like old-fashioned seamed panty hose, and the season's new clutch was a sunglasses case blown up to exaggerated proportions.

As wacky and whimsical as all that sounds, the results were seriously chic. Less "street" than his latest runway show, the vests, pencil skirts, and pants had the feeling of wear-to-work pieces for girls who have the good fortune to work in creative fields. (The leather harnesses on the jackets and coats, for the record, were 100 percent removable.) Just don't call what Wang does "downtown." Months away from opening a 5,000-square-foot store in Beijing, as he is, he shouldn't have to remind anyone that his is a global brand. One in which handbags play a significant role. Rocco fans will be pleased to hear that there's a smaller version with a lunchpail-style zipper that's been dubbed "the Rockie" in the new lineup.