More industry spoof than social commentary, the video Kenneth Cole screened before his Friday morning show addressed such mock-serious issues as the dangers of air kissing, the overuse of the fashion business' favorite colloquialism, "fabulous," and obsessive catwalking. It got some giggles, thanks in part to the archly somber soundtrack, but in the end, we'd have to say that as a comedian, Cole makes a great fund-raiser. (He was one of several designers who played a major part in last fall's Seventh on Sale AIDS charity event.)

Once the show proper got underway, though, Cole mostly stuck to what he does best: translating the prevailing moods for the aspirational masses. For fall, that means a slim silhouette of cropped jackets topping tweedy pencil skirts or lean double-breasted blazers and safari jackets over high-waist trousers. The most desirable sweater was a belted cable-knit cardigan. Suit-dressing may have been embraced by the fashion-forward crowd, but Cole's customers still love a dress, and this season, like last, he whipped up a group of blousy silk chiffon numbers. Despite their Crayola colors, they will be easier to wear than the models-only, drapey silk jersey styles in shades of gray that closed the show. More forgiving were a pair of sashed velvet wrap dresses. The latter came in a peat green that matched one of the collection's highlights, a full-skirt trench that would be a bargain at any price.