Albert Kriemler lost his mother, Ute, last December. His show today, accompanied by a small orchestra playing her favorite composer, Bach, was a tribute to her, he explained backstage. Although it was almost all black, and inspired by her personal wardrobe of turtleneck gowns, blouse-and-pant combos, and clean tailoring, his new Akris collection wasn't necessarily somber.

Though in demeanor still mournful, Kriemler found interesting ways of letting in the light. Starting with the house's signature photoprints: This season, he used a dark photograph of a street, the streetlamps casting horizontal white lines across the planes of what he called his new three-piece suit—a double-face cocoon coat worn over a double-breasted jacket and a tunic dress. A nubby, three-dimensional St. Gallen embroidery added shimmer to a short cape and its matching pencil skirt, while a floor-grazing skirt in unlined lamb's fur had its own sheen. Other embellishments, including gridlike patterns of jet crystals and silk fringe, lit up his evening offerings. The fringe was contained by horizontal seams; Kriemler didn't seem quite up to the cheerfulness that loose fringe might've suggested.

And yet there were other intimations of a son and a company moving on. Kriemler had some brilliant sportswear on the runway today; his customer will love the look of an oversize herringbone sweater and snood worn with matching chevroned pants, or a pantsuit in a tonal plaid cut from cashmere, angora, and wool. In right about the middle of the show, he included a single white lamb's-fur coat. That bright moment served to underscore the poignancy of this season's story, and one couldn't help but be moved.