Alberta Ferretti knows her niche, which she carved out a decade ago with an ingénue princess coat and a chiffon dress. By applying smart design tactics, she's managed to trim that template to whatever trend happens to be in the air at the time, whether that be Courtney Love grunge, boho folklore, or ladylike dressiness. This season of course, we're coming out of the fifties and taking a turn north-northwest by way of Russia, and Ferretti is putting astrakhan collars on felted coats and dark prints on dirndls, popping passementerie trimmings on belted jackets, and grounding the look in knee-high flat suede boots.

Such trend-gathering inevitably picks up cues from the current leaders of the pack, so Prada and Lanvin influences are feeding into Ferretti's neatly finished tweed and grosgrain beribboned day look. More interesting is how the designer is expanding her own signatures. After the day section of her show, she turned down the lights and spotlit a separate evening collection that showcased the red carpet relevance of her pretty way with a chiffon evening dress. For young actresses who yearn for something other than a gussied-up mermaid gown, Ferretti is increasingly a lady to run to. Her cloudy champagne- and mushoom-hued dresses, sprinkled with sprigs of silver sequins or minutely pleated à la Fortuny looked great.