The craggy, almost lunar landscapes of the Galápagos Islands—to which she had made a recent voyage—had Lela Rose thinking about space-age style for Fall. "These are not Battlestar Galactica looks," Rose cautioned, laughing, in a phone interview with Style.com the week before her show. "It's more about exploring the different textures observed in the universe."

Surface treatments played a bigger role than usual. Pyrite zippers added interest on the opening look, and constellationlike crystal embroidery livened up a pair of evening dresses. But it was a blousy cinched-waist frock treated to look like it had been lined with pebbles that really made an impression. Silhouettes didn't stray far from the clean-lined sporty-cocktail vein the line is known for; the beading experiments weren't overdone. Other than a gold jumpsuit Rose called Liquid Mercury, which will be a hard sell, this was a solid lineup of special-occasion wares that struck a hard-to-achieve balance between high fashion and accessibility.