Twinkling embellishments and stardust beading were a big part of the Badgley Mischka story. The reason for all the shiny finery, James Mischka revealed a few days before the show, was that he and design partner Mark Badgley (like a clutch of other designers this season) had been stargazing. Literally: They were poring over images captured by the Hubble telescope. "There's a galaxy feeling to our beading," Mischka remarked. Indeed, a short V-neck tank dress covered entirely with densely clustered gemstones had a river of citron running down the front and back like the Milky Way.

The show opened with 15 gala looks. A fluid jersey jumpsuit in navy represented the pants portion of the program; the rest were gowns, gowns, gowns. A long-sleeve, high-neck black matte jersey dress had starry epaulets, and the bodice of a pale mauve gown cascaded with quicksilver stones.

Most designers would be content to call it a day after a dozen-plus high-wattage frocks, but Badgley and Mischka took advantage of their captive audience to show a full collection from their contemporary line, Mark & James, too. Over-the-knee boots and second-skin pants in liquid mercury marked the demographic shift; skip the boots and wear the pants with one of the semi-destroyed bouclé knits for a debutante-goes-clubbing look. There were plenty of round-the-clock options in this act of the show, but it was hard to focus on the more familiar and workaday pieces when the memory of so many stellar dresses was still hanging in the ether.