Let all those other thirtysomething New York indie designers rehash the ironic/retro/ladylike thing ad infinitum. Daryl Kerrigan is not about to start pinning rhinestone brooches to her boyfriend jackets; and as for retro, the farthest back she's ever looked was to a Sex Pistols gig at London's 100 Club, circa 1977.

In her second season after a 2-year hiatus, Kerrigan took a big step toward reclaiming her position as the official dresser of the downtown rock 'n' roll crowd. Like her rocker inspirations, Kerrigan knows short and sharp make the point better than long and laborious, so she kept her presentation trimmed to 16 looks. That served her well, letting the details of her slinky, ruched-and-tucked tops and well-tailored skinny pants shine forth. Of course, Kerrigan's version of punk is hardly thrift store; each rip and slit is artfully placed, and her leather jackets have never seen the back of a tour van. And she wasn't all about tough stuff, either; a few of the season's soft-and-pretty ideas made themselves felt via an abbreviated lingerie slipdress, supersized fur, and even—gasp!—a ribbon bound around a high-waisted velvet dress. Hey, even Sid had his soft side.