Mark Badgley and James Mischka say their clients like to buy formalwear for the fall parties before they leave for the summer holidays. Which means Pre-Fall is all about glamorous dresses at Badgley Mischka—even more so than in other seasons.

This time around, they looked to the opulence of Rome—where they recently took a belated honeymoon—to inform the look of the gowns. The silhouette was mainly long and lean—even a ball skirt in a beautiful bordeaux red and black jacquard was pretty narrow. A stretchy crepe column was embellished with an armorlike jeweled collar, while the standout beaded nude chiffon number was studded just at the neckline with golden brooches. The duo were most successful when they pinned heavy brooches on wispy fabrics. "It's the contrast that makes it interesting," Mischka said. It's true.