Pierre Carrilero loves to spin a tale as much as a piece of yarn, and his Pierrot shows are always encased in some clever, cracked conceit: fairy tales, seaside frolics, triple-X filmmaking. It's a wise move on his part. His knitwear may have charm to spare, but he's still working in a very limited genre. For fall, the designer took a far more traditional route, making his show resemble the old French salon presentations, with running commentary on each outfit and models mincing demurely down the runway (to the far-out accompaniment of a theremin).

Carrilero has been doing slightly twisted, retro femininity for years, so his lacy, sex-addled pointelle knits and tiny flouncy skirts fit right into this fall's growing taste for the look. Ditto his bulky yarns, worked into cozy snug sweaters with various très francais intarsia designs (Eiffel Tower, poodles, etc.) worn over slim pencil skirts. His color choices got a bit loud at times, and skintight leggings are rarely flattering, but a Pierrot show always leaves its audience with a smile on its face—not to mention a yen for a few new sweaters.