The silk satin bathrobe dress with which Donna Karan opened her Fall show was something of a head-scratcher. This is the designer, after all, who helped women into the boardroom with her famous Seven Easy Pieces collection in the mid-eighties. Why had she now set her sights on the bedroom? Not that slinking around in a satin robe doesn't have its appeal, but what about practicality? Some of Karan's dresses came in jewel-tone chiffon that dipped dangerously close to the belly button in front, or went low on the sides and gathered loosely at the waist before gently falling to the knees. Others were draped toga-style in jersey, with elaborately knotted crisscrossing straps in back. Many of them had a lovely languid quality, but forget about wearing a bra.

Happily, those looks were just one side of Karan's story for Fall. Structured tailoring was the other, and this was represented by suits that, though they were more than office-ready, didn't ignore the female form. Case in point: a rose cashmere tweed cardigan jacket and wrap skirt with gentle curves. Coats, likewise, had an appealing roundness to them. Not the "falling leaves" ribboned silk shag number, though—no woman wants to look that round. But both a black-and-silver cashmere brocade coat with a blanket collar and an antiqued leather jacket looked effortlessly cool, though they were from opposite ends of the dressed-up/dressed-down spectrum. Those are the kinds of pieces that will really move once they hit stores.