Lela Rose caught the current mood for sportswear, cutting glorified sweatshirts in cashmere and tossing in menswear fabrics for an extra edge. It was a smart move, because the full volumes of the girlish trapeze dresses that have become her specialty threaten to look like last season┐s trend. Still, the Texan designer hasn't forgotten what made fans of social types like Celerie Kemble and Amanda Cutter Brooks in the first place, so those sweatshirts came with taffeta cuffs, while an oversize herringbone cape had a prodigious drape.

Rose also tapped into the inevitable Poiret revival that will accompany this spring┐s Costume Institute exhibition. There was a touch of the twenties in elongated tanks and tees paired with drop-waist full skirts, as well as in unstructured chemises in polka-dot gauze and panne velvet. The French master┐s signature bright colors were here, too. Rose said that she borrowed the marigolds, crimsons, and rococo blues from old, colorized black-and-white movies. Whatever the reference, they were a welcome jolt after last fall┐s more muted palette.