Vivienne Tam can sometimes work an inspiration too literally, so news of her Chinese opera-inspired Fall show was received with trepidation. Thankfully, she stayed subtle. Mostly.

What was successful? Structured outerwear and woolly A-line miniskirts had discreet nods to the look and costumes of the ancient Kun Opera. Structured collars swooped off the shoulders into sculpted wings, and, up close, you could see dense, intricate cloud embroidery on the skirts' hems. As for what didn't work, the cocktail and eveningwear suffered from overembellishment. A velvet tunic dress had fringe, an ornate cutout collar, and a multihued print. The print on its own might have been fine, but it got lost in the noise. With China on so many fashion people's lips of late, it was nice to see a native daughter mining the country for inspiration. Still, a lighter touch overall could have gone a long way.