Giambattista Valli presented pre-fall in his new West 27th Street showroom. The massive top-floor space with floor-to-ceiling views on three sides would seem to indicate that business is going very well chez Valli. He certainly didn't skimp on materials for this latest outing. Indeed, he may have come up with an entirely new category: the fur dress. Presumably, his rich clients in South America and the Middle East—the kind who rang him up after his first-ever Couture show in July to order five-figure gowns directly from online pictures—have enough fur coats. The mink and fox frocks he showed today follow the general description of the silhouette he's known for: sleeveless, slightly A-line, and above the knee.

There were plenty of his signature patchwork creations, but where Spring was sweet, this season's offerings have a darker, richer feel, exemplified by a coat-dress that married nubby black wool, a gold brocade, and a diamond-pattern jacquard that Valli said reminded him of furniture fabric. There wasn't a sequin or bead in sight. The most striking look, in fact, was a cropped top with three-quarter-length sleeves in a brick red wool and its matching high-waisted, flared trousers. Signs of a more streamlined Valli to come? Those aforementioned clients may take issue, but diversifying, remember, is key to growing a business.