"My number one inspiration is my customer," Tracy Reese said backstage before the show, echoing the sentiments of other contemporary designers we've talked to this week. "I think about how she can look great while trends are changing so quickly."

In other words, Reese isn't out to make a huge statement and forge the season's mood, but to interpret how it relates to her brand. For Fall, she focused on layering—stirrup pants, arm warmers, chunky cardigans, and cozy scarves—while also emphasizing texture through the use of jacquard, crystal embroidery, and faux-fur trims. Short, patterned, ruched dresses (a signature) were key here; they came in so many subtle variations that they became nearly indistinguishable after a while. Still, you can't fault Reese for giving her public exactly what they're looking for. Pragmatism has never been more in vogue.