This season, Peter Som asked his shoe collaborator Charlotte Dellal to do kitten heels in place of their usual über-platforms—an early indication of the designer's practical mind state. "I wanted clothes my friends wanted to wear," said Som, before adding the oft-repeated phrase, "Real clothes for real women."

As evidence, he pointed to the dark and neutral wool tailoring, the flourishes confined to a peplum waist, a tonal paillette embroidery, or a swath of fox covering the sleeves and back. Actually, make that quite a lot of fur swaths, as Som worked the hybridized look repeatedly, though with varying degrees of success. At times, it seemed to be the easy way to make something interesting, and at times it simply read as awkward. On the other hand, a mink-lined parka is beyond reproach.

Som juiced up his reality show with inspiration from Cindy Sherman's early Untitled Film Stills, and the pure, bold approach to color of the Memphis group. The invocation of Sherman dovetailed with Som's own love of retro femininity, which was seen here in cuffed cigarette pants—cute in sequins and metallic jacquard—and nipped-in shifts. The latter fared better than Som's experiments with caped backs and cartridge pleats, which just felt heavy. As for what a friend might covet most here, put your money on an ultrasimple but infallibly elegant crew-neck gown with sleeves to the elbow, like one in a black floral and another in cobalt sequins that closed the show. She'd surely be accepting compliments all night.