Fashion actually doesn't exist in a vacuum—that, at least, has finally been proven once and for all by designers' obsession with the economy these days. Clothing doesn't mean anything without context. And context is exactly what has been missing at Halston, which was relaunched for the umpteenth time in February of last year and has been designed by a team for two seasons.

Instead of a runway show, the creative forces at the house produced a video in which model Dree Hemingway—yes, daughter of Mariel, who burst into stardom in the original disco-Halston heyday of the late seventies—rushes headlong toward some destination unknown (or, as the program solemnly put it, "moves through the film's interior world created by director Nez Khammel").

Back in the showroom, the brightly hued garments themselves looked cheerful enough. (Studded jumpsuit, anyone?) A floor-length sequined coat was chic, and there were some beautiful details, including scarf ties that would have charmed Isadora Duncan and a gently caped back on a primary-red minidress. Some of the trendiest looks will probably be picked up by L.A. stylists and photographed for the tabloids because Halston has a certain cool cred in Hollywood again. But here in Manhattan, where Studio 54 feels as far away as ancient Rome, they just don't match the mood.