Ivana Omazic found inspiration in Françoise Sagan's 1977 novel The Unmade Bed. "I like a woman who's feminine, but not a doll. Someone who's seductive and beautiful, but a little wild," she said backstage. Sounds like a foreigner's idea of the archetypical Frenchwoman—and Omazic, who is Croatian, did focus on the classical elements of Gallic chic. There were narrow belted sheaths, smart wide-legged pants, and statement trenches (one in lipstick-red duchesse satin), all shown with leather newsboy caps with flaps that fastened below the chin in place of the more traditional silk scarf.

The collection was an improvement over Spring's, in which the simple was made unnecessarily elaborate. There was an appealing lack of fuss in such Fall offerings as a black cape-back jacket with an A-line skirt, and a cocktail dress of midnight-blue sequins. But a tiger-print ponyskin skirt and a fitted tiger-print silk dress looked rather too much like an outsider's impersonation of the fictive femme fatale. Now that she's proven she can do the basics, Omazic's next challenge will be to move beyond the useful, but predictable, Parisian stereotypes and create an identity that's uniquely Celine.