If Adam Lippes isn't the first designer who comes to mind when you're seeking an understated darted shift or a timelessly polished wrap dress, his latest effort could change those expectations.

Lippes stretched himself beyond the young, simple-and-sporty basics (jumpsuits, sweatshirts, and blazers) he's turned out in the past, skewing toward a more luxe and detailed look. The outerwear—including a fatigue jacket lined in coyote and a striped peacoat with shearling trim—was impressive; blouses and dresses were intricately embroidered with sequins. Cropped cable-knit sweaters and a few billowy maxi dresses, meanwhile, hinted at classic ADAM and gave the collection some familiarity.

"My woman is stronger this season," the young designer said backstage. "The collection is more sophisticated; the emphasis is on fashion this time." It's too soon to tell where this new maturity will lead, but kudos to him for pushing his own envelope.