For her first-ever Pre-Fall collection, Sharon Wauchob wasn't thinking about experimenting with new ideas for upcoming seasons nor did she want to simply rehash her greatest hits. In the end, she struck a perhaps unwitting balance. Her romantic signatures—the soft leathers, the transparency, and embroidery that suggest a poetic rock heroine—were intact, but there was a quiet opulence in the line's decorative aspect, a kind of Celtic-rococo quality that hinted at a new kind of narrative for the designer. It was strongest at its most masculine (a Mongolian lamb-collar coat embroidered with old Irish military motifs that could just as easily have been Ruritanian) and its most feminine (lace woven with a metallic thread that looked so modern it was difficult to believe that the production process is now extinct—Wauchob bought the absolute last of it from the French manufacturers).

For all the tristesse of that last-lace-left notion, for all the whimsy of a hand-drawn print featuring angels and unicorns, Wauchob was adamant she didn't want preciousness in her clothes, however fragile some of them might look. The way she embroidered a fluff of rosette on the sleeve of a jersey top or anchored a sheer blouse with beading was suggestive of the expertly crafted durability of beautiful vintage clothing, but imagine—as Wauchob does—such pieces paired with jeans, or her lean boot-cuts (now embroidered) flaring over a pump. The combination of airy and earthy weights in each look grounded her heroine as a lover and a fighter.