Katie Holmes and Jeanne Yang opted out of the Lincoln Center tents, where they made their New York fashion week debut last season, in favor of private appointments at the Palace Hotel today. But if that signaled a change, they didn't alter their approach to the collection, which is now three years old. "It's a quiet line," Holmes said, and Yang finished the thought: "We're about wearing the clothes, not letting them wear you."

A stretch plaid peplum bustier top worn with matching tapered pants connected with Style.com's market editor, but for the most part, Yang and Holmes are content to leave the trend setting to other labels. Among the 15 looks they showed were a couple of shirtdresses in a plaid hammered silk and a chambray denim, and maxi skirts that they alternately paired with a peplum top and a silk camisole. Instead of leather leggings, they cut pleated suede trousers in a warm shade of butterscotch.

Despite their assertion that the clothes were inspired by the 1940s, there wasn't much holding the disparate elements together, which was an issue for Holmes & Yang last season, too. If they are developing a signature, it's for special details like the metal nailhead trim along the inner hem of a two-tone cape, an idea borrowed from Coco Chanel (who used metal chain in her jackets) to add body and drape.

A long beaded mesh dress also caught the eye. They actually designed it years ago, not long after they launched the brand, but didn't feel they had the collection to match it until now. Slow and steady wins the race, but to grow a label, it would seem that they need more of that razzle-dazzle.