Kai Kühne is a colorful character, but he saw things in black and white (and gray) for Fall. He visualized his models as "survivors with the deepest of pedigree" walking away from their burned palaces with heads held high. This somewhat doom-y plot line was translated into the clothes via tonalities and textiles (one fabric's finish resembling a charred log, for instance).

Kühne revisited the dart-slim silhouette introduced for Spring but stretched it to a "more than conservative" mid-calf length, which worked on the runway for the most part, although stores will probably ask him to raise hemlines before the clothes hit the sales floor. The dresses—including several with chic black and white angled stripes—showcased the precise Pythagorean geometry of Kühne's pattern-making, which is truly impressive. Still, it would have been nice to see it applied to more than one shape. Cropped jackets, an oversize coat with asymmetric lapels, and a suit with of-the-moment zipper detailing offered some variety.

Kühne is clearly motivated to pick up the pace of his career. He's got strong new financial backing, Róisín Murphy performed at his after-party, and he showed accessories on the runway for the first time (along with one menswear look—a hint of things to come?). With so many positive things happening, it's difficult to understand why he opted for such a languid parade, instead of an up-tempo one in keeping with his bright trajectory.