Third time was the charm. After struggling to connect with the Emanuel Ungaro legacy, Esteban Cortazar has come up with a Fall collection that not only stayed true to the house founder's go-go eighties joie de vivre, but at the same time proved he's keyed in to what the nightclub set likes to wear now. That would be a fits-like-a-glove draped-and-wrapped strapless dress with bold tights and sky-high heels. His little party frocks came every which way: color-blocked in shades of royal blue, orange, and fuchsia; in multicolored polka dots; and beruffled in Ungaro pink and black. Sometimes Cortazar tossed on a stamped black leather motorcycle jacket and a very French silk scarf around the model's neck; other times it was a cropped and cutaway blazer in a menswear plaid.

On the tailored side, a blue leather jacket and high-waisted satin pants with fanlike pockets on the hips could be contenders for party types who've aged out of microminis. Only the knits—bulky and not nearly as expensive-looking as the price tags will demand—fell flat. Overall, too, the show could've used a tighter edit, but that's something that Cortazar can get the hang of now that he's figured out his raison d'être.