This season, Zac Posen infused his lower-priced ZAC collection with more graphic and sportif elements. It was certainly a bold new direction for the designer—and one that will likely resonate with his contemporary customer. Of course, Posen interpreted athletic references in his own manner. You're not about to see him doing velour tracksuits or neoprene sweatshirts anytime soon. Take, for example, the opening look that juxtaposed a puddling floral maxi skirt with an impeccably tailored blazer-bomber hybrid, complete with Posen's trademark seaming. It's that kind of attention to construction and fit "that distinguishes a designer collection at an accessible price point from fast fashion," according to Posen.

Another standout was the expanded knitwear offerings, which Posen has been developing for some time in order to meet his quality/cost standards. The designer topped one of his signature sexy little sheath dresses (that hugged Crystal Renn's curves in all the right places) with a cropped, color-blocked sweater that gave the outfit a modern edge. Elsewhere, he explored the idea of polished layering with a coordinating skirtsuit featuring an allover geometric motif, as well as a silk blouse shown underneath an embossed crop top. While Posen achieved a comparatively casual tone this time around, he still didn't skimp on glamorous eveningwear. Among the highlights here were a dramatic one-shoulder gown cut from cerulean bonded jersey and a black-and-white silk crepe number that gave the impression of a tank-and-trumpet skirt combination—each will go for around $1,000. All in all, lots of forward-thinking propositions from the House of Z.