Savvy up-and-coming designers have started to use the pre-season collections as a time to launch their lines. Atto's Julien Dossena, who designs with Lion Blau, took advantage of Couture week's light schedule to introduce his new ready-to-wear label to retailers and editors. He's a promising new talent.

The Paris-based Dossena hails from Balenciaga, and his debut offering shares a sensibility with Nicolas Ghesquière. Dossena likes fabrics with a dry hand (spongy red wool jersey, marled gray wool gabardine from Japan, cotton knits with 1 or 2 percent stretch) and crisp, precise cuts. A slim-fitting three-button suit jacket with high armholes and narrow sleeves was belted high above the waist, and a sleeveless pop-over top was distinguished by its angular bib-like hemline. Both pieces had a mod, sixties-ish feel.

But if mod connotes cool, there was no lack of heat in the lineup. The side seams of one skirt were split nearly to the hip, and apron dresses exposed not-so-subtle flashes of ribs. Dossena proposed a clingy silver sequined turtleneck as a layering piece for many of the looks. He also has a luscious sense of color and is unafraid to mix and match. A navy-and-yellow stretch knit dress is sure to be a hot item at The Webster in Miami, which will stock the new line.