A recent New York Times article put the spotlight on Zac Posen's recession-induced financial woes. It hasn't been easy for a still-smallish business like his to survive the great retail panic of the last 18 months. In that, of course, he's hardly alone. Today, Posen was back at the modest Altman Building for a second season in a row, and clothing-wise he seemed to be cutting back still further for Fall. There wasn't a single gown on the runway. That must be tough for a designer in love with ball skirts and shoulder flourishes, but in their absence, he injected more than a fair bit of showmanship into the sportswear; colorful furs; and short, flirty party dresses that were this upbeat collection's focus.

Posen gave his pantsuits a forties flair, putting contrasting cuffs and lapels along with strong shoulders on cropped jackets and pinning a brooch to the waistbands of his full-legged, fluid trousers. There was also a sweet little ice-skating dress in dove gray jersey with a silk wool skirt. If he's still trying to establish an identity for his daywear and not exactly succeeding, Posen is much more confident when it comes to evening. This season he's thinking short and pink, because, hey, wallflowers aren't his type. In New York, at least, the recession hasn't really managed to put a dent in the late-night scene. His corseted minidresses will find happy homes indeed with the party-hopping set.