Rad Hourani is a futurist. The world he designs for—and inhabits; not just the president, but a client, too, as they say—is a utopian one where gender difference is minimized and a rigorously small number of building blocks make up even the most complicated looks. He's an advocate of unisex dressing, and sends his men and women out in matching gear (this season, right down to identical gray tights and a banded, chunky high heel, made in collaboration with Aldo). The 26 looks Hourani showed all boil down to a manageable six discrete pieces, including two jackets, a pocketed chemise, and a paneled pant. Wear them backward, wear them forward, wear them on top of one another, and voilà: Choose your own adventure.

"Choose your own adventure"—that can sound a bit like a sci-fi action movie, and there are seasons when Hourani seems to have pulled his looks from one, too. That aesthetic has its fans, but it can come off a little machine-made. You lose the cloth-ness of the clothes, somehow. This Fall however, Hourani worked with fabrics he calls "classical": wool flannel, boiled wool, standard wool, jersey, crepe. Even the PVC he returns to time and again was here thinner and more matte than in days gone by; it had an appealing crinkle to it, not unlike crushed chiffon. The combinations Hourani created—with the help of his longtime consultant, über-stylist Patti Wilson—emphasized drape. "I like the idea of showing what you can do with my clothes in a drapey way," he explained backstage. "They're very straight, always, but I like the idea that you can make them your own." Make no mistake, the pieces and the looks here are still very edgy; there's no de-Radding RAD. But this was a stronger show than last season's for the softening.