She's "Cracked." That was the theme of Karen Walker's show, which had its beginnings in the designer's decade-deep archive, from which she unearthed a favorite print of a broken strand of pearls. "We love the beauty that comes out of catastrophe," said Walker backstage, "and the brittle nature of things."

The first look out was anything but broken-down: a quite pulled-together square-shouldered and square-bodied trench over black cigarette pants, punctuated by lipstick-red patent pumps. Soon enough, though, the fissures began to appear—in the crackled leather of a black motorcycle jacket, the breakaway flaps on jersey tops that hung below boxy jackets, and Walker's charming graphics (including the resurrected pearls and a colorful new shattered-china-plate print).

She tempered her gone-to-pieces motif with strong and simple silhouettes and, right on trend, paid close attention to the shoulder with a princess sleeve on steroids that appeared on cute sweatshirt dresses and built up in petal-like layers on smart little shifts. It was a strong collection with loads of sellable yet quirky separates. And, frankly, is there a better time for fashion that celebrates the beauty that can blossom after things fall apart?