Dennis Basso's formula for recession dressing could be boiled down to the following: Take some anaconda, add Russian barguzine (mink will do in a pinch), make a coat, and wear it to lunch. Voilà!

A Manhattan society furrier in the midst of a global economic meltdown is a man in a rather awkward spot, but Basso soldiered on, focusing on daytime furs, mainly fitted jackets and structured coats, to take his customer from coffee to cocktails without raising (too many) eyebrows. While most of his luxe-hybrid outerwear was shown with dresses in silk crepe, one buttery-hued coat of brocade and sable was an outfit in itself. The dresses were mostly forgettable—how could you rip your eyes away from all those skins?—but slim black taffeta cigarette pants commanded a second look, and would work just as well on a downtown girl as on Basso's usual client. Pair those with the sweet biker gloves we spotted, and you just might see Basso on the Bowery. Or not.