A search for security? A return to a safer time? A meeting at the Junior League? Alice Roi's Fall collection suggested all of these things and more.

Roi's inspiration was "the days of the debutantes"—although she clearly wasn't thinking about gin-swilling Jazz Age nymphets; hers are a more sedate group who wear Ferragamo flats and buy investment clothes. Even when showing edgier ideas, Roi has always been a strong tailor, and this collection's simple lines showed off her skill. Palazzo pants hung perfectly off the models' hips, an ankle-length ivory velvet coat had just the right flare and a wool jersey dress skimmed the body without a hitch.

The clothes did occasionally get a little too serious. A straightforward red cashmere knit dress would need to be worn with a lot of attitude—or by someone under 25—to avoid coming off as starchy, and some of the velvet pieces sat rather heavily. Roi's wit shone through, though, in the fuzzy ivory fisherman's knits: a shrunken hoody cardigan with poet sleeves, a halter dress, a sleeveless top. And the glitzy red-and-gold brocade pants worn with a skintight ivory top and red cashmere tank? Just the thing to bring out the bad girl trapped inside every well-behaved deb.