Tess Giberson graduated from a mannequin installation at a Chelsea art gallery to a presentation on models at Lincoln Center this season. The girl means business, and to prove it, she's opening her first store in March, on Crosby Street here in New York. Her line, which she relaunched a year ago after a five-year break, is already sold at Barneys, Intermix, and Ron Herman in L.A. As arty as her rep is, Giberson makes hardworking clothes. Since she landed back on the New York fashion week calendar, they've erred on the understated side, but not this time.

Giberson's theme was collage, so there were a lot of layers and textures in play. It came across most boldly in the Mongolian lamb vest with look-at-me proportions that topped a knee-length wool coat and trousers, and in a cozy, oversize rib-knit turtleneck sweater vest accessorized with a matching scarf. If the crochet cardigan with leather sleeves—paired here with a silk chiffon shirtdress appliquéd with laser-cut tulle—was a shade more subtle, it was no less eye-catching. The biggest surprise? A pair of vermilion red dresses, one of which was topped by another fur vest. It's the kind of color you can see from the opposite end of a department-store floor. Giberson is thinking more commercially, and we mean that as a sincere compliment.