Cite "flowers" as design inspiration and watch a crowd of fashion editors roll its eyes at visions of tea-party chintz. But for Alexandre Herchcovitch, the full flower—stamens, pistils, multifoliate petal structure, and all—provided the basis for an intellectual and intriguing Fall collection.

The Brazilian designer showed a range of layered looks in which garments were not always what they seemed. The bodice on one "dress" was split down to the navel, so it could be peeled back and worn pannier-style over a full skirt, exposing the bustier beneath. A red chiffon blouse featured arms at both ends, with the second set tied around the waist and the redundant bodice falling to rest on the skirt below, like vestigial wings. Herchcovitch progressed this idea, peeling garments back layer by layer, so that by the end of the show, entire dresses floated around the models' hips.

All that bulk and volume could get a little ungainly for a real-life wearer, all those extra wisps irritatingly extraneous, so there were more commercial pieces in the mix. A body-con dress with a chiffon peplum reproduced the layered look with all-in-one ease. Prints also provided a more palatable, 2-D way into the subject matter. Oddly haunting drawings of spider orchids and other tropical flora achieved beauty without any cloying associations. But for this designer, the experiment of deconstructing clothes with a botanist's precision seemed the chief interest—let the petals fall where they may.