At the beginning of this decade, New York's finest pant makers looked set to dominate the fashion scene, with editors, retailers, and celebrities extolling the virtues of Katayone Adeli, Bruce, and Daryl K. From that list, only the latter, designed by Daryl Kerrigan, has stayed afloat—and even she had to shutter her New York store, fold her business, and lie low for a while.

With this collection, her second since returning to the scene, Kerrigan showed why she's been missed, sending out clothes that were feminine, uncomplicated, and effortlessly hip. The designer did sharp versions of what have emerged as this fall's key items: a flowing jersey dress (she slipped hers over stovepipe pants); a tightly belted big coat (cut from dotted melton wool); and a voluminous blouson jacket, here in winter white reverse shearling. (She also used sheepskin to trim a great slouchy black leather shoulder bag.) There were also plenty of easy wardrobe basics—drawstring cardigans, knotted tanks, boxy jackets—designed to be thrown together on a whim.

But there's also been a shift in Kerrigan's attitude. Yes, there's still an element of downtown grunge running through this label, like a nagging musical refrain from band du jour the Killers. But everything is much less self-consciously cool now. What with her color palette (earthy browns mixed with pink and lilac), and her weathered, worn silks and wools, this was a collection that could have quietly, but confidently, slipped from show to street in the blink of an eye.