Last season, Barbara Tfank created a few of her own prints for the first time; Fall saw her plunging headlong into graphic-design mode. The Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy, who designed stationery for Paul Poiret and textiles for Bianchini-Férier, was Tfank's guiding light. She produced a series of bright floral frocks with him in mind, including an off-the-shoulder dress with a pleated skirt that looked great in a morning-glory print of bright green and aquamarine; a nipped-waist long-sleeve dress in emerald, navy, and claret was also sweet. Tfank's conservative silhouettes may not appeal to most twentysomethings, but a subdued black silk crepe sheath looked supremely sexy on the model Damaris Lewis. (Sure, she models for Sports Illustrated, but the point is that Tfank's creations go great with curves.)

Another happy by-product of Tfank's print compulsion was her increased awareness of texture. "If I do something with black now, it has to be really special," she said. A midnight plissé taffeta dress with bodice-enhancing ribbon detailing fit that description perfectly.