The plaid-flannel-and-knit-cap set came out for Rachel Comey's show Thursday evening, and with the designer's friends Hex Message playing in the background, the event felt more like an impromptu jam session than a runway show. But still, it's hard to look away from Comey's eccentric prints and quirky styling: The clothes soon reclaimed center stage—and the focus shifted to parsing the layered looks.

"Fall often feels heavy to me," Comey said beforehand. "I wanted it to feel lighter." A dark, metallic blue knit mini with a brown lace overlay got the message across, and sleek knee-high boots in caramel were actually oxfords worn with a pair of leather socks (a chic way to sate the leather craving we predict you'll succumb to in the months ahead).

Comey is wise to consider when customers will actually be buying these clothes; she designed for more than just blizzard conditions. Some of the collection's best pieces would be ideal for the waning days of Indian summer. Silky trousers with colorful flowers managed to be slim and slouchy (they'd look great with a plain white tee), and the long skirt in a gray and white graffiti cobweb print, worn with a nude top, was stellar in its groovy simplicity. Also of note were Comey's first forays into denim. Her high-waisted bright blue jeans with a white camellia print were sexy but smart, just the way the Comey customer likes it.