A designer who eschews living in a major fashion hub in favor of his native Toronto might be construed as a designer who goes his own way. Add to this stints at Alexander McQueen and Preen, and you could reasonably expect from him over-the-top showmanship or darkly avant-garde experimentation. But that's not Jeremy Laing's bag.

Instead, Laing—27 and showing his third collection in New York—presented a sober selection of smartly tailored dresses, suits, and separates in a muted palette of grays and greens. You had to look closely to see where Laing lets loose. It's all in the finer details: architectural constructions (a boxy, faceted hitch at a neckline instead of darting, for instance) or a kaleidoscopic crystal print (created from a blown-up digital photo). This detailing knocked classic silhouettes—pouf-skirted party frocks, drawstring dresses, and slouchy suits—slightly askew, and pushed what might otherwise have been ho-hum into the realm of cool.