Dries Van Noten has an almost tribal following of faithful customers who unconditionally love and buy what he designs, season in, season out. Last time around, that band was joined by a hardcore cohort of fashion enthusiasts who spotted something brilliantly right-on in his clean, sporty, brightly colored Spring collection. Sadly, that enthusiasm ebbed away for Fall amid a disappointing welter of dreary colors and awkward shapes.

Something of the sporty theme was still there, though, in adaptations of classic, quilted-nylon country jackets, which, granted, nodded to the puffer-ish theme that¿s been generally cropping up in the collections. Van Noten¿s other idea, true to his taste for multiethnic references, was Indian paisley, which came abstracted into black-and-white print or picked out in sequined embroideries. Neither of those devices was enough to lift things anywhere near the level of last season¿s blockbuster, however. Partly it was due to the relentless parade of gray, mustard, khaki, and dulled orange, though equal blame must be attributed to the baggy dropped-crotch divided skirts, and the ugly orthopedic shoes with ankle-thickening socks. Once sifted by expert buyers, there will likely be nothing much here to turn off the women who rely on Van Noten. But in this show, the characteristic alternative joyousness of his perspective sank from view.