From the Queens of the Stone Age soundtrack to the skull-and-crossbones-embroidered trench that closed the show, this was not intended to be your typical stately Badgley Mischka presentation. If the results were somewhat uneven, it was good to see designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka trying to shake things up. In addition to the embroidery the duo is known for, pleats were a recurring theme, and looked good applied to tiered knee-length dresses. Daywear isn't usually a big part of the Badgley Mischka vocabulary, but there were gestures toward more trend-friendly pieces here. Best were the ruff-collared blouses and the rather chic sheared-mink miniskirts. The fur jackets were covetable, too, especially a jaunty white arctic fox one destined for Aspen.

Of course, there were plenty of the dresses that are the stuff of dreams for Oscar-nominated actresses. A midnight-blue moiré and tulle gown cut tight at the bodice had just the right amount of glittering embroidery, and a black tulle and chiffon number that trailed subtly at the back would surely send the paparazzi into a frenzy. On the other hand, one wondered where a shirred and wildly ruffled red tango gown could be worn. The Vermeer-inspired palette was saturated, said Mischka, "200,000 percent." Perhaps they should have knocked off a few zeros, because some of the citrons and especially the reds were jarring. But then, Badgley and Mischka clearly didn't want to play it safe this time.