Working almost exclusively in black, Tom Ford took confident steps toward defining his vision for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche.

A couple of pink-and-amethyst short dresses trimmed in waffle pleats opened the show; from that moment on, Ford's only concession to color was a deep aubergine tone that surfaced sporadically.

The monochromatic scheme forced the audience to focus on the design of the clothes. Saint Laurent's famous gypsies migrated to the new millennium, their fringed skirts and off-the-shoulder peasant dresses intact but updated for urban life. Ford also provided an impressive array of fitted jackets with ruffled lapels, leader-of-the-band coats, sumptuous shearlings and stern military overcoats with epaulettes and thick belts.

The precise focus of Ford's collection extended to the accessories: The new YSL Rive Gauche thick-heeled, wide-strap heels, no-nonsense boots and graphic rectangular cases should be flying off the shelves next fall.