Catherine Malandrino is very particular about mise-en-scène: "I will only show at a one-of-a-kind space," she insisted before her Fall presentation in the cavernous former New York Times building that will be torn down and rebuilt as a hotel beginning next week. The designer said her collection is best illustrated by a python tote that had "Paris" written on one side and "New York" on the other. Likely the only spots you could get away with a risqué, architectural leather and fishnet cutout gown are the City of Light and the Big Apple. And an all-in-one leather topper that looked like a cape layered over a blazer was city street wear at its best.

Malandrino's accessible evening dresses in jewel tones—emerald, violet, cobalt—affirmed that French women inherently understand how to flatter their figures. Empire waists cinched with a leather sash enhanced the décolletage, and strategic ruching hugged all the right curves. Another French advantage? They never shy away from piling on the fur. Whether mink, fox, or broadtail, the fuzzy stuff showed up on almost all the covetable outerwear here. Of note was an insanely plush chinchilla bomber with a washed-leather corset waist and oversized collar.