Australian designer Michael Angel
has made a name for himself with striking digital prints, but for Fall, he set out to evolve his signature look. In fact, the first half of his show—which featured draped mohair jackets, alpaca skirts, and a crepe and angora dress—was virtually pattern-free. "I wanted the shape of the garments to stand out here, not the color," Angel explained backstage. The clothes were beautifully constructed, but it was difficult to trace the connection between these sophisticated looks and the parade of printed body-con minidresses that closed the show. What's more, the in-your-face sexiness of the finale frocks felt out of sync with the relaxed mood taking shape on this week's runways. Kemp Muhl was more in touch with the prevailing silhouette, perched goddess-like in the front row wearing a billowy, hooded maxi gown from Angel's Fall 2008 collection. The designer would do well to place next season's effort in a more relevant context.