This season the young-designer-struggling-to-find-a-voice has become a mini-theme, so Zac Posen┐s focused Fall show was a reassuring development. In his five-and-a-half years on the runway, the 26-year-old has made a signature of forties-inflected tailoring. And today there was a new polish to his suits, evident in their strong lines—some jackets had nipped waists, others flared capelike from the shoulder. A coat that was all collar, and a fur with ruffles—never the best idea—were rather less reliable. But a tweed day dress was a winner. With curving seams piped in black patent, it was cut to smartly maximize his model┐s hourglass potential.

When it came to eveningwear—Posen┐s first love—he reined in the exuberance that can sometimes get him in trouble. Still, he couldn┐t resist a statement gown or two—this season Agyness Deyn was charged with pulling off the requisite show-closing dress with the stiffly voluminous skirts. But Posen mostly stuck to slimmer silhouettes in body-loving stretch silks and colors that the camera adores. These—unlike some of the more showy pieces—have serious red-carpet promise, and the crowd ate them up.