Prabal Gurung is a dress man. He's built his reputation on the exposed shoulders of high-profile clients. "Cocktail and evening is solid," he said at a Pre-Fall appointment, pointing out that daywear is where he focused his energies this season. Admirers of his tailoring have always been in the minority, but maybe not for long. There were some beautifully cut jackets in his new lineup, most notably a shawl-collar tuxedo with an inset silk bow at the waist, although another jacket with asymmetrical lapels came in a close second. And you can turn them around, and they're just as interesting. Gurung has developed a habit of draping them from the shoulders. No cutting corners here. Pants come with contrast waistbands and taper to right above the ankle.

Still, a browse through the racks indicates that he's developing smaller-ticket items alongside what he calls his "sportswear with couture ideals." Printed T-shirts and T-shirt dresses constitute an expanding category, as do clingy fine-gauge knits. Denim is another area he's dabbling in. A sheath with exposed-seam allowances and raw edges had a great fit. Moving up the price spectrum, he's reworking some familiar pieces—peplum tops, a shirtdress—in simple cotton. But in the end with Gurung, it's all about a dress. He showed all kinds in this collection—above the knee, to the floor, full-skirted, clingy. Among the best: a one-shoulder black-and-white number draped over a fitted turtleneck, a strapless party frock paired with a bolero-cum-cape, and a rose-print silk duchesse gown with a matching T-shirt tossed over the top that combined elegance with edge. Remove the tee, and it was a strapless dress—two knockouts for the price of one.