On the surface of it, there’s not much change from Ann Demeulemeester for fall. Everything is still black with that lanky, tape-dangling, boot-stomping slouch about it. Demuelemeester’s not about to break into vivid color, crystal strewing or ’60s Cardin references. But then again, who’d want her to?

Her strong point of view doesn’t necessarily make her a fashion refusenik. Under cover of all that darkness she’s dealing with the main points of the season in her own way. There are skinny pants laced up the leg, which parallel Christian Dior and Helmut Lang, but she cuts them rocker-style in matte oiled cotton. Fashion’s gone layer crazy for fall, and that’s exactly Demeulemeester's thing. No one knows better how to make a cool assemblage of matte gauze T-shirt dresses, leather leggings, distressed biker jackets, satin hip wraps and pieces of tied-on tailoring seem as if it just happened.

The designer has her own dialogue with the subject of menswear-for-women, too. With their black fedoras, big jackets, pants, shirts and ties done in matte crepe, the models looked like Annie Hall’s goth sisters. The collection didn’t flaunt its familiarity with the trends, but that’s precisely Demeulemeester’s appeal: right-on style by stealth, season after season.