Douglas Hannant claimed his Fall collection was "stripped of all theatrics" in favor of highlighting the craftsmanship behind the clothes. Not quite. With four-time Grammy winner Renée Fleming looking on approvingly from the front row, Hannant presented a range of genteel dresses with a few operatic flourishes mixed in.

Sheath dresses remained the dominant silhouette. Updated for the season with ruffled leather peplums, gathered necklines, and autumnal fabrics—a croclike emerald Lurex, for example—they looked as decorous as the designer's clients demand. The less structured wool crepe dresses featured subtle shredded georgette at the seams, drawing attention to what Hannant termed the "soft geometry" of his cuts.

Sometimes all the textures got a little fussy, as in one dress that incorporated a peacock blue slip, polka-dotted lace portrait collar, spaghetti straps, thigh slit, and satin waist sash. In fact, that polka-dotted lace was (air quotes) "whimsical" to the point of distracting on every piece in which it featured. But the quality of the materials and cuts can't be questioned. A turquoise gown with alternating panels of matte and shiny silk crepe, in particular, made a diva-worthy statement.