The first outfit read like a manifesto: gray flannel pinstripes worn with high-tops and turquoise mitts. There, in a nutshell, was the evolution of Duckie Brown. Steven Cox and Daniel Silver have always woven their own lives into their work, so here was Englishman Cox's banker brother in his pinstriped suit and blue shirt. But the non-banker shoes and gloves took the look to the edge the duo have made their own. If they were inspired by the conservatism of a family member on the one hand, on the other, they borrowed the collection's neon accents ("limoncello" said the show notes) from their design hero Stephen Sprouse. The rest of the collection made a similar point of forcing confrontations between the classic and the off-kilter. Best of all was probably an overcoat in double-faced cashmere in a gorgeous shade of apple green, with a caviar-beaded sweatshirt running a close second.

Those were only Duckie's most dramatic transmogrifications of the familiar. Lacquered wool trousers with a double waistband, or an elongated piqué evening shirt were more subtle variants. And, while the duo's signature drop-crotched pant has been spotted on other catwalks this season, the original is still the greatest. Given their play with proportions in the past, Cox and Silver's cashmere leggings had more integrity than some of the other pipe-cleaner silhouettes we've seen for fall. Cashmere leggings, you say? Oh, yes, Duckie Brown is playing with the big boys. And caviar beading doesn't come cheap, either, even when it's offered as a panda face on an "evening hoodie." (After the show, Silver tried to insist that the beaded sweatshirt was "less than a one-bedroom apartment in New York.") Let's just say that the most intriguing relationship on the New York menswear scene just got more interesting.