Gianvito Rossi designed the shoes for Bill Blass this season, and as the pointy, metal-tipped stilettos and to-the-knee boots came to life, Jeffrey Monteiro found himself wanting to inject some of that sexiness into the collection. As always, he said backstage before the show, the starting point was American sportswear, but Fall had a shot of Italian energy, too.

The first look out, a fitted black wool coat with indigo satin sleeves and a high collar, was militaristic in its precise cut and no-nonsense rigor. Things didn't loosen up from there. Paneled dresses in sheer jersey and stretch twill led the parade of figure-hugging daywear. Most were spliced and inset with different fabrics in variations of the same shade, like an aggressively sexy sleeveless stretch twill dress in cobalt that had a dark blue satin bodice and a sheer navy top. A lush fox-fur coat with a delightfully huge collar made for a nice contrast with all the sleek shapes, but you wanted to see the peacock green dress underneath, with its hint of side cutouts that started under the bodice. Polished and focused, this was a lineup of sportswear for fashion power players.