Desperately seeking stability. Thomas Tait sought to battle the unease he felt as a young person starting a company through his Fall collection. Thus the solid earth of a grass runway and the appearance of rough suede and raw denim, less rarefied materials than Tait usually uses. That was half the story. The designer proclaimed this his most technically complex collection to date. The work was to merge his painstaking construction with what he called "something more obvious": those long-distance runners of the wardrobe like the varsity jacket, the white button-down shirt, the peacoat, the turtleneck.

As with past collections, what stood out here were the coats with rounded shoulders and angled curved hems, all either elegantly collarless or with collars that flipped high and framed the face. He does a beautiful navy, but a moss green popped nicely, particularly paired with marigold leather trousers. It won't be surprising to see a few of his varsity jackets show up in the front row next season. In place of knit ribbing at the cuffs, hem, and neckline, he used finely pleated leather, a technique continued from last season.

You could call it "obvious," but that's not entirely fair; season after season Tait maintains his vision while increasing his relevance in terms of what women want to and can wear. And he knows how to add that one certain thing to throw off his quest for perfection just so. Here it was the men's workwear gloves. "I wanted them to be big, just like Mickey Mouse hands," he explained.

Speaking of vision, up until two days ago Tait's runway show was meant to be a presentation. He went rogue on the fashion calendar, dropping himself into a slot between two shows. "Thomas designs for a runway show," his publicist said by way of explanation. It apparently ruffled a few BFC feathers. What spoke volumes: Everyone still came.