"I never had so much fun doing a collection!" said this Brazilian designer fervently. The reason? Love. "To have your muse by your side is the best thing," he gushed backstage before his show. The object of his enthusiasm is his newish girlfriend, Alex Kramer, a pretty blonde social who has taken on a serious advisory role.

The most notable change in the Miele mien is that this time, glitzy embellishment was kept to a minimum. The genesis of the Fall collection was a tale of three cities: New York (the base for his business), São Paulo (his hometown), and Paris (where Miele is planning to open a boutique). The designer had been struck by the way Kramer dressed differently as they bounced between the three capitals. Hence, the City of Light was referenced in printed dresses that recalled classic Emanuel Ungaro. Belted jackets in perforated suede and leather were quintessential New York sportswear. And there was a brief nod to the Brazilian metropolis in a few animal-print evening dresses.

But this was far from a perfect collection. It fell occasionally into the mousetrap of cheesiness—see the hot-pink bomber and black silk skirt. And a number of pieces, in particular the pants, were overly fussy. Still, it was good to see a designer who has been criticized for being flashy and a bit overwrought rein himself in.