"An elegant anarchist" was Phillip Lim's go-to for Fall. Backstage, his mood board had pictures of glowering rude boys; he mentioned suedeheads, too. Lim has long had a soft spot for those outside the mainstream, and the young punks of sixties Britain were a famously stylish lot. But they made an odd match with the designer's new-and-now sensibility. He has an improvement tic that leads him to tweak just about everything that can be, from fabric to cut to color to process. As a result, many of the finished looks came off fussy and over-styled.

There was likely too much elegance and not enough anarchy. (There was definitely too much eyeliner.) Rudie rudeness wasn't only an aesthetic affectation. There was real anger and unrest behind it, too. You don't have to look back to the sixties to find that kind of energy, either; it's alive and well today, as anyone who lately Occupied Wall Street will vouch. More of that feeling might have strengthened this collection. The toughest pieces were most successful, like thick-soled derby shoes and wool melton coats in a cool print Lim called "digitized houndstooth." Maybe it was, but it looked like a digital camouflage. There's the fighting spirit of the counterculture right there. It was harder to locate in sheer organza undershirts.