The declarations that were flying through the air after Christopher Kane's Fall show ranged from "poetic" (a dreamy young editor) to "commercially sellable" (a store buyer) to "Virginia Woolf's Orlando meets John Everett Millais' Ophelia " (from a newspaper headline hound). It opened with a charcoal cashmere poncho knit, wended its way through khaki Aran tabards, and built up into shivery plastic paillettes on organdy contrasted with stud-embellished cashmere sweaters.

In other words, no sound bite or literal theme adequately describes the way Kane's collection turned out this season. The manner in which he and his sister Tammy design is a kinetic process given to many changes. Witness: Two months ago he was thinking about the Queen, Barbara Cartland, and Big Bird. What they came up with, in essence, is a pretty contribution to party dressing involving veiled panels of sequins on dresses and a wispy suggestion of a longer hemline (transparencies were left to waft below the knee without constriction). Weirdly, if there's a criticism, it's in the fact that the frisson of vulgarity that was central to Kane's attraction in his first three seasons was somehow absent. On the other hand, maybe that's OK. At this point, Kane, like any young designer who wants to make it, needs something to sell without upsetting customers. And this Fall, the Glaswegian fashion prodigy may have put himself in a better position to survive.