The last several seasons have been challenging for small brands like Raffaele Borriello's Requiem. But according to the designer, business is picking up. Credit that to his timely introduction of lower-priced elements like embellished knits, coupled, on the other side of the coin, with a stubborn refusal to skimp on luxe fabrics or his preferred way of piecing them together into one frock. Predictable little black dresses aren't Borriello's cup of tea. Instead, a Fall cocktail number might come with gazar sleeves, a charmeuse bodice overlaid with mesh, and a skirt made from a leather look-alike wool. Other designers may be editing out long evening dresses from their shows, but not Borriello, who describes his label as "an end of the afternoon-into-evening collection." His most charming floor-grazer was a feminine take on the tuxedo.