What's the reigning queen of artsy dressing supposed to do when fashion starts heading in a cleaned-up, spare, decidedly un-artsy direction? If she's astute, and Vera Wang is nothing if not that, she starts making cleaned-up, spare fashion of her own. The first look out was a black wool pantsuit with a narrow, slightly elongated jacket, its shoulders trimmed with organza corsages. Hey, no one becomes a minimalist overnight. Tailoring was a focus of this show, but Wang put her luxurious, ultra-femme stamp on it: adding Mongolian lamb trim to the hem of a coat and cutting the sleeves off at the elbows so it can be worn with opera gloves; affixing sequins to the mesh pockets of a charcoal felt double-lapel jacket.

A pair of her easy paper-bag-waist tuxedo pants, worn with a draped one-shoulder top in white linen voile or an ivory silk faille tucked bustier, would make fabulous alternatives to the little black cocktail dress—though Wang showed quite a few of those, too. Among the best was a simple twisted and draped jersey frock that fell to just above the knee. Others, with their mosaics of metallic sequins and swags of black tulle (accessorized with piles of pearls), erred on the fussy side. "Less is more" is not a concept that feels entirely natural for Wang. Still, she nailed it with a scalloped black organza gown that looked practically weightless as it glided down the runway.