In his program notes, Costume National's Ennio Capasa suggested that the rock chick he dressed in the nineties has grown up. Unfortunately, the designer seems to think that growing up means losing your edge, judging from his uncharacteristically muted fall show. Despite experimenting with both long and short, eighties-tight and sixties-loose, suggestive and naïve, the collection felt a bit repetitive. There were eminently wearable minicoats, trenches, and the season's de rigueur half-wool/half-fur overcoat, but they lacked a recognizable identity that will make women seek them out.

Pants, once a Costume National strong suit with their masculine yet sexy fit, inexplicably came with pleats beginning at the top of the thigh. They're as likely to see the light of day as the stiff leather floor-grazing skirt that was also shown. Thankfully, for evening Capasa took a more sensual approach. He mostly abandoned last season's superfluous jeweled embellishments—save for one sleek sheath that was fully beaded in front and plain in back—and focused on cut. Bustier dresses were fitted to just above the knee, as were his skirt suits, and he threw in a couple of voile gowns. The stronger of the two came with braided straps and fell in soft tiers to the floor—at last a hint of what grown-up rock chic might look like.