Put it down to the spick-and-span nature of their work, but when Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra get nostalgic, it doesn't hit you over the head. Still, for Fall they were feeling both the nineties—the pivotal moment when they met and began their fashion lives—and the early seventies, triggered by a viewing of Robert Altman's 3 Women.

"We wanted to touch on that freedom of how people dressed to express themselves," Tagliapietra said before the show. To them, that meant movement, which they achieved by injecting swish and flare into their bow-belted dresses, satin skirts, and even a glam draped gown. Their draping, too, had a sort of kinetic energy, swooping across the body and around the models' necks.

The most overt nod to the nineties was an ombré Matsuda-esque stripe, which the designers printed on sequins in their first stab at embellishment. But when the fabric was cut into little button-downs and narrow pants, these lacked the ease that this duo's clientele surely prizes.

Much of the story here was in unadulterated doses of color, like the beautiful poppy red that opened the show. The standout was one they named chalkboard green, which was really a deep, rich, forest-y hue. It induced a knee-jerk want-it reaction in a pair of chic, fluttery silk dresses and a poor-boy knit paired with a matching skirt. Those knits, by the way, are also a new addition chez Costello Tagliapietra, and a very welcome one at that. The tall and perfect should consider one of the fabulous sweater column gowns that closed the show. For the rest of us, there were more than enough pretty dresses in this well-executed collection to go around.