It's quite possible to imagine some of the bold, quasi-militaristic looks Scottish-born, London-based Jonathan Saunders showed at his New York debut today ending up in the Costume Institute's Superheroes exhibition. The designer and his sleek models beamed down to Gotham, presenting a tightly tailored collection that featured intricate piecing, panels, and sun-ray pleats that fit around the body like foil.

Among Saunders' starting points were Brancusi sculptures and Irving Penn sand collages. His imaginative journey also took in the realm of classic science fiction. But he returned to earth, literally, in terms of palette. Camel was the predominant tone throughout, and it worked wonderfully on both a monochrome halter dress with a side fall worn by Liya Kebede and a sexy-secretary number on Isabeli Fontana.

Saunders' big evening numbers were the standouts of the collection—especially striking was a snug black strapless tuxedo-y gown. It might be difficult for the average earthling to pull off the looks with billowing pleated panels, and some of the zip-front panel dresses seemed overcomplicated, but with this collection, Saunders proved he's no alien to sophisticated urban dressing.