Alberta Ferretti's pre-fall lineup for Philosophy is a balancing act. Half the time, the collection featured looks with youthful shapes in grown-up, ladylike fabrics like jacquard. The brocade stuff was stiff on a strapless party frock, embossed to look like croc on a modern trench, and positively gorgeous in an abstract feather design on the standout piece: a slim-fitting sheath with knit waist side panels and long sleeves.

The other half of the time, pre-fall was about sophisticated shapes cut from youthful fabrics like floral appliqué and animal prints on bristly calf hair. A long, pleated shirtdress that showed just a flash of leg courtesy of an adjustable slit was cut from fluttery, printed chiffon. The house's signature silk—Ferretti has been known as the "queen of chiffon" for ages—got the gold lamé treatment on a shorter shirtdress with a tie-neck detail. Ferretti gave her evening looks an on-trend Deco spin. Drop-waist dresses came ornately embroidered or dusted with a confettilike fringe. Add one of the tiny feathered shoulder bags, and you have a fun outfit for a jazzy night on the town.