Daniella Issa Helayel was all smiles backstage before showing the collection she dubbed Celebration—a nod to the fact that it's been ten years since she designed her first print and dress. Helayel didn't say it, but there's also the good fortune of being spotlit by Kate Middleton in that dress, i.e., the one the princess-to-be wore when announcing her engagement to Prince William. After being prompted, the designer related that Net-a-Porter sold out their 380-unit order of the royal blue frock, and that pre-fall sales were up 60 percent.

And that's where Middleton Mania ends for Helayel. Her muses for this collection, possibly her best ever, have a more sensual and evocative approach to fashion. "It's Giovanna Battaglia meets Andrea Dellal," Helayel said. Both were literally present as well. Battaglia acted as stylist, bringing new refinement via her own quirky sophistication to Helayel's tried-and-true dresses, while Dellal triumphantly closed the show in a backless red column.

Where last season Helayel swore off prints, here they were back in full force, many of them revivals of favorites from the past decade. But the jersey girl pushed her material of choice into new territory, adding a heavier-weight knit fabric that draped nicely in chic skater dresses and cigarette pants. When tailored into a lovely lipstick red fit-and-flare coat, it was royally good.