Since his Spring show last September, Prabal Gurung has seen his profile rise and rise. Demi Moore, his number one fan, and Thandie Newton wore his cocktail dresses on the red carpet, and he made a red gown for Oprah Winfrey to wear on the cover of O magazine. His Fall collection, the first one he's put on the runway, won't slow his upward trajectory one bit. On the contrary, it shows that Gurung is just as savvy a tailor as he is a dressmaker.

He opened with a bold, what-you-see-is-not-what-you-get coat—white cashmere coming, black going. Color-blocking here was more than just a decorative motif. Clever gray-in-front, black-in-back trousers, for example, were cut with leg-elongating convex seams. Jackets, too, were inventive without being tricky. Both elegant and utterly cool, a black-and-white iridescent tweed blazer with draped black sleeves had the potential to cross generational and uptown-downtown divides.

There was hardly a shortage of fabulous dresses, however. Among the best were a pair of narrowly fitted sheaths, one in camel cashmere with draped white inserts, and another in that sparkly tweed spliced with black faille. A few of the draped viscose gazar cocktail numbers were a bit busy around the neckline and shoulders. But Avatar's Zoe Saldana, who was whisked out from backstage moments before the show started, would look stunning for her turn on the Oscar red carpet in the finale dress, a strapless gown in that crimson viscose gazar with a cascade of sculptural black ruffles below the waist.