"Everything was so strict and dark last season, I wanted to find something more fluid," Nicolas Andreas Taralis said backstage. Well, he hasn't exactly found the light, but there was certainly more white on his runway tonight than ever before. The designer got things started with a romantic Victorian blouse, the hem of which extended halfway down the thighs of skinny black leather pants that laced up the sides of the legs. But decadence, not purity, was the name of the game here. Later on, those frilly-neck, fluted-sleeve shirts came splotched with red paint. We could've sworn it was supposed to look like blood, but Taralis denied it. In fact, although it doesn't come across in all the pictures, nearly every piece in the collection was dyed or painted. If the stained shirts seemed like a stretch, an ecological wool coat in what Taralis called a "noble" British herringbone was no less noble for its ruddy undertones. It won't be inexpensive, either; that paint was painstakingly applied by hand.

Strict just might be in Taralis' blood, though. Two of the most interesting shirts were button-downs tailored close to the body, one white, the other black, with geometric cutouts above the bust that looked provocative without being risqué. But taking top prize in the clever tailoring category was an elongated jacket so streamlined it had no lapels, just contrasting stitched seams where they would've been, with the under-collar on top. Paired with Taralis' gritty black jeans, it made you happy he hasn't given up his dark side.