The fashion cognoscenti turned up en masse at Marco de Vincenzo's show tonight. They picked a good season to acquaint themselves with the Roman designer. Last season's ombré painted cable-knit dresses were a breakthrough, but the optical effects he achieved here were more sophisticated, and the overall takeaway more polished.

Backstage de Vincenzo said he was "looking at the beauty I know"—Rome, in other words. The geometric splices and the cabochon studs on the show-opening slim leather pencil skirt were taken from paneled doors found in his hometown. Later on, he created a similar motif on a leather coat with hand-painting. The coat's graphic pop was unique, but what made it truly special was the sheared fur lining.

Other pieces that had the editors in the room busily scribbling notes: a molded leather jacket with vertical seaming that produced its hourglass shape, a pair of black trousers with skinny ivory triangles inset below the waistband, and a long, pleated dress with a swirling marble print. De Vincenzo has a strong eye, but a subtle touch.