Things were a bit off-kilter at Alexandre Herchcovitch's show today, and that was exactly the way they were supposed to be. The Brazilian designer said that he took inspiration from "big cities that have grown up in chaos, like my city—São Paulo—and Berlin." As architectural styles are varied in these metropolises, Herchcovitch mixed multiple silhouettes in a single piece of clothing. The theme continued through to the accessories: Models carried "pieces of the city" in their hands in the form of stone-shaped minaudières.

The collection is much more complicated to describe than it was to take in; despite all the bells and whistles, it was designed with a light hand. Although the spangled and half-ruffled cerise-print dresses that opened the show looked like they should be delivered for spring instead of fall, they were so pretty that Herchcovitch's customer probably won't mind. The designer did offer some similarly multi-textured coats; but with ruffled chiffon insets at the back, warmth probably isn't their primary function. "They move a little bit weird," he said approvingly of a charming series of sequin-striped jerseys. It's that not-quite-right quality that defines Herchcovitch's work and his appeal to big-city girls who understand that sometimes bad means good.