Lars Nilsson continues to put his imprint on the house of Bill Blass, merging his own intellectual and artistic impulses with the spirit of one of America’s most influential design names.

In the two years since Nilsson became the house’s creative director, he’s made it clear that he loves sophisticated color combinations and traditional handcrafts, using them to give new life to the elegant sportswear that Blass’s customer craves. For fall, he put some dazzling hues on the runway, starting with a group of piney-green separates that included a dyed sable coat. He sent out a scarlet satin shirt and wool skirt that radiated its own heat and a creamy ivory jacket cut like a duffel coat worn over honey-colored suede trousers. The handwork showed up on an inky blue coat, embroidered with silver and worn over a navy satin skirt and black cashmere sweater.

Nilsson showed a few looks that echoed the founder's delight in irreverent juxtapositions: a motorcycle jacket cut in black satin, for example, or a simple hip-length sweater worn with a chiffon and lamé skirt for an easy nighttime look. There were prime examples, too, of the American designer tradition that sees no shame in luxurious practicality; a black cotton twill parka with a black sable hood, for example, or a navy velvet jacket that works for daytime or as an evening piece.