Angela Missoni's collaboration with Nature, the greatest designer of all, worked out well for the family business today. The backstory was a girl who wants to lose herself in the wild but is stuck living in the city. By applying Missoni's techniques to nature's textures, Angela wove an urban wardrobe out of wood, stone, fur, tree bark, and mica-sparkled minerals. The union made perfect organic sense, even if the show itself, with its drawn-out staging, could have benefited from some judicious man-made editing.

Befitting the inspiration, the collection was full of evocative details. One sinuous sheath was infested with beading that looked like pine needles. Another had a copper-colored design creeping across it, like a mineral seam running through soil. A dress was over-embroidered to look like wood grain, but it could just as easily have been the patterning produced over years by decaying leaves on a forest floor. The dégradé stripes on a shirtdress suggested sedimentation, another pattern evoked spreading mold. One of the most dramatic effects had a typical Missoni multicolored knit overwhelmed by creeping gray, like smoke spreading across a dawn sky.

A subtext to the story was protection. According to Angela, the Missoni girl needed to keep her heart warm, so there were stoles that tightly wrapped shoulders, as well as big fur collars. And Missoni has discovered needle-punching, which meant knits and lace were hybridized with animal skins to produce new effects. For some time, Missoni's creative energy has been directed toward reconceptualizing the label's signatures, which had become familiar to the point of cliché. This collection was a genuine push in a different direction. Still, there are so many people who are in love with easeful cliché that an ambivalent response is to be expected.