Sari Gueron isn't a designer given to grand themes or statements; she usually just prefers to make the kind of cool, unstudied clothes that girls clamor to wear. This season, however, she decided to give concepts a try. She described her starting point as an updated, woodsy fairy tale—an imaginary world populated with a Harry Potter book's worth of owls, images of which covered nearly every inch of her studio's inspiration board.

Still, Gueron is a pragmatist at heart, one who would never let concept trump wearability. For day, she mostly showed an urban take on cozy, countryside fare, all accessorized with black riding boots. Dark wool coats, capes, and dresses in slim silhouettes came piped with leather for a hint of subversion. Gueron is steadily shedding her reputation for being solely a dress designer, and here she delved further into separates, like the covetable chunky cardigans shown layered over her frocks. Along the way, the designer riffed lightly on her woodland theme; an ivory cotton-and-silk dress, its collar embroidered with abstracted owls, was both whimsical and chic.

Unfortunately, evening looks trimmed with a combination of jet crystals and glossy black feathers left one wishing for the slightly more low-key version of after-eight dressing for which Gueron is normallly the go-to girl. This show didn't strike as strong a chord as last Spring's, but with Gueron's first Resort collection hitting stores and a recent Fashion Group Rising Star nomination, she is still forging purposefully ahead.