"I wanted to do something that felt right, not just on the catwalk but in any situation," Kris Van Assche said backstage. This designer has been known to indulge an eccentric notion or two, but today he produced a generally straightforward collection, rendered in black and white, of shrunken-down clothes borrowed from a guy's closet. The necessary feminine element came courtesy of necklaces and bracelets made from gold and silver military ribbons.

Sharp-looking cropped jackets and slouchy long johns (modified from Van Assche's men's show) were teamed with either sheer button-downs or thin turtlenecks. Wrapping was a unifying theme, with buttonless trenchcoats, blazers, and vests tied off at the waist. A few gaucho-style pants cinched above the ankles added a bit of extra swagger, but the wool trousers with apronlike sheer silk panels came off like a silly runway experiment. The series of caftans that opened the show also seemed like a ploy for catwalk attention.

Here's the thing: The clothes that Van Assche mostly focused on today aren't the kind to generate a lot of heat at a fashion show. But they do look like the sort of pieces that a fashionable customer might wear day in and day out. In that regard, this was a case of mission accomplished.