The colorful, curve-hugging gowns Carlos Miele sent out today on the bodacious Constance Jablonski showed the designer in his element. "I wanted everything to feel glamorous and positive," he said backstage, holding up a color-blocked purple, red, and fuchsia charmeuse dress. Miele has reason to be looking on the bright side: The economy in his native Brazil has rebounded far more quickly than other countries from the global recession.

The focus wasn't just on festive frocks, though. Cropped fox jackets and swingy astrakhan coats played a role, and the designer mixed in a 100 percent organic denim trouser from his lower-priced jeans line. Handworked details, another Miele signature, felt too craft-y in the case of a bolero constructed from loops of fabric and chains, but the rosette detail on a gold minidress—sewn by favela residents the designer trains and employs—was as subtle as those gowns were bold.