Alberta Ferretti has whittled her brand proposition down to the things she does very well: fluttery chiffon, a dressy princess coat, and a quietly pretty event dress. There's no harm in that focus. Part of the battle in fashion is reaching a point of clarity where people know what you're about and why they should shop with you—and then sticking to it.

As far as dresses are concerned, the show began where it ended: with trompe l'oeil jewelry in the neckline of a nude, vertically pleated number. Ferretti navigated the current vibe for barely-there color and covered arms, sometimes with crystal sparkles planted on near-invisible net, the way you'd see in figure-skater outfits (had she been thinking Winter Olympics?). The coats, too, had the fit-and-flare silhouette that has been developing somewhere along the line this season as a mainstream, feminized response to the rigid A-line look that is taking hold in many collections.

Still, with the Academy Awards imminent, Ferretti's section of long dresses could be up for more public attention than the rest of this collection. The way she showed them, with natural-looking makeup and downplayed hair, struck a note that could look refreshing on that red carpet.