Urban expansion—as in building modern structures on top of historic ones—was the lofty concept Nicole and Michael Colovos took as their starting point for Fall. In particular, the Helmut Lang designers looked at the work of Santiago Calatrava. You could see what they were getting at in the way they built up their shearling- or rabbit-collared, cropped, and fitted jackets with arching swatches of texturized wool, blistered leather, and neoprene. There was also the clever manner in which their stretch-denim jeans were seamed to keep the fabric snug around the bum and thighs. Likewise, the organic prints on their draped silk dresses were engineered to make the most of a woman's natural curves, while the tone-on-tone sequins of jersey dresses followed the sinew lines of the body.

Never mind the architectural conceit, though. The real proof comes in front of the dressing-room mirror, and the Colovoses clearly know that. The building blocks underpinning the continued success of this contemporary line are fit, which the designers care passionately about, and the fact that you get so much fashion for the price.