About halfway through Olivier Theyskens' first runway show for Theory today, along came a long black jacquard dress and fur capelet. It made a certain kind of fan in the audience catch her breath. You saw the Edwardian silhouette and you suddenly felt as if you were at Rochas all over again. Minor elation ensued at the thought of how much money you'd save on the look this time around. Speaking of Theyskens' time at that French house, there was a certain mid-aughts collection three years after he landed at the brand that was remarkable chiefly because it was the first time he put pants on the runway. That little bit of fashion history lends his current tenure at Theory a certain irony. Why? Because there were so darn many pants on the catwalk today: boot-cut corduroy flares, bleached skinnies, full-legged trousers, denim hot pants, and a directional, low-slung, pleated style a little too droopy for this reporter's liking.

I might be the only one. Customers apparently blew through the Theyskens' Theory Spring delivery at Bloomingdale's. In any case, there were plenty of other real-world ideas to keep your interest. Like the cable-knit sweater that topped a long, narrow skirt; dramatic gray dusters cut with slits up the side, presumably for ease of movement; and any number of coats with a triangular notch at the back of the lapel to create the slouchy silhouette the designer tends to favor. With all the department-store heavies in the front row, there's no reason to think the Fall deliveries won't move just as fast.