Collette Dinnigan opened her show to Blondie's "One Way or Another," an indication that the designer's usual prettiness was getting a punk makeover. The tip panned out, but for the most part it was the result of styling (though a little silver beaded shift did give you an edgy Joan of Arc-meets-Balmain vibe). Dinnigan finished her parade of dresses with the wayward touch of little back-seamed lace socks dotted with winking crystals and slouched into killer studded Louboutin pumps.

"This stuff can all get a bit too ethereal-fairyland, and it's like floating in too much mystery," she explained after the show, which was curiously called Fairy Tale. But some tales are more believable than others. Mystery was kept to a minimum in Dinnigan's mostly un-tricky silhouettes that let the material and embellishment speak for themselves.

And they did. No amount of the Undertones and Garbage on a soundtrack can distract from the fact that these dresses are made from exquisite stuff, particularly the custom laces. Check out the perfectly engineered placement of scallops on Dinnigan's lace tees, and the polka-dot motif at the hem of a dress that echoed the paillettes at the neckline. One aberration was the woolly yarn-loop embroidery that would appear to be a nod to winter in this rather un-wintry collection, but felt a bit crafty and wrong in this context. To stay warm, a better choice was the velvety black coat with a barely there trim of lace petals on the pockets and back. It's the kind of thing that might be chosen by Stevie Nicks—a woman who knows how to work romance with a different brand of darkness.