Damir Doma's favorite kind of woman looks fragile, but acts strong. "The kind of woman in a photograph by Deborah Turbeville," he said backstage. That dichotomy played out in the designer's Fall collection, which juxtaposed his tailoring—he designed menswear before launching his women's line three seasons ago with pieces that were soft to the touch: a navy Mongolian lamb fur vest and jacket tipped in white, a ponyskin miniskirt and swing jacket printed in leopard. "I'm putting the focus on dresses and pushing it in a feminine direction," he added.

But only up to a point. Doma's aesthetic is a minimal one; he prefers a clean, uncluttered silhouette. Meaning you won't be seeing girlish frills on his runway anytime soon. Or high heels. Doma's models wore creepers. And as for those dresses he promised, more often than not they looked like tabards worn over leggings or a shorter skirt. They weren't quite monastic, but they certainly weren't come-hither either. To convey the femininity he was going for, Doma turned to color: a lamé skirt the shade of a penny came teamed with a matching Lurex-shot knit shell and a pair of bicep-accenting copper cuffs.

Last season's bare midriffs and sheer fabrics revealed a somewhat tenuous grasp on what real women need and shop for. It's still the subtle tailoring that stands out here, but those furs and ponyskins point to a new understanding.