This season, Joie joined the growing pack of contemporary fashion brands to show during New York fashion week (J Brand and J.Crew among them; lots of J's, come to think of it). But creative director and CEO Serge Azria did it reluctantly. "I don't like fashion shows," he said. "But we've been getting a lot more international interest, and I thought one way to up international business would be to present to the press that comes to New York." His presentation was a success in that respect, as he ended up shaking hands (or exchanging bisous) with more than a handful of international editors—not a bad result for a freshman NYFW try.

Joie has had a big year. Azria opened five new stand-alone stores (two in New York, three in California), and there's another on the way. He noted that he has no further plans for expansion ("We want to stay limited. I don't want to be a big retailer all over the place.") but that sales are on a steady incline. After viewing his Fall range, it wasn't hard to see why. Inspired by a "Sunday girl" and a rich dinner at a château (which he evoked with crystal chandeliers, candles, and a long banquet table), Joie offered cozy sweatpants in silk or cashmere that could be paired with kitten heels for a dinner party, or thrown on with the label's flat and pointy black ankle boots for an easy day look. The pants were a nice reminder that one can be simultaneously comfortable and chic. The palette was unfussy and monochromatic—black and white with pops of red (the show notes reported a mod influence). And though Azria's hues were simple, he did a lot with them. A leopard print was digitized on one sweater and also appeared on a bowed blouse that peeked out from beneath a giant herringbone knit. Black blazers and leather jackets were clean and easy, and some richer fabrics—like a black, gold, and burgundy velvet brocade that was used for a pair of tapered pants—were a nice touch. If there were any criticisms, it might be that the black lace skater dress and a blouse in the same material didn't quite fit in with the cool, youthful range. Nor did a black ribbed sweater dress, which felt a bit dowdy. But hey, seventeen out of twenty ain't bad. And those seventeen looks were each comprised of modern basics that any woman could (and probably will) enjoy.