It was a cross-generational moment backstage at Jill Stuart as the designer introduced her mother, a former designer, and daughter Morgan, who's now working with Stuart and joined her for a post-show bow. Her Fall muses spanned decades as well. "I was thinking of women like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marianne Faithfull," she said. "Women who aren't afraid of mixing prints and silhouettes and textures."

The dark, rock 'n' roll-tinged mix on the runway included sexy body-con draping and its polar opposite, heavy menswear tailoring with chunky, sometimes head-swallowing, knits. Dresses came very short and tightly wound around the body, some with asymmetrical necks, others with big shoulders—a sort of Balmain for the teenybopper set. However, one of the best, a black lacquered lace frock, had only a nipped waist. These abbreviated numbers will no doubt be well received by the global flock of trend-loving girls who have made Stuart's business a booming one, but what was more interesting here were the less skin-baring looks. Hooded sweater coats and menswear-inspired evening options, like a tuxedo jacket and shorts or a lace blouse tucked into high-waisted trousers, had a sophistication that's often missing at this label.