Pamella Roland channeled the opulence of Saint Petersburg's Winter Palace for her Fall collection. She turned memories of wrought-iron gates into wool laces that scrolled across deep green and purple cocktail dresses and spun pale gold from the Palace's interiors into metallic brocades used in capes and coats fit for a czarina. Leather, peplums, metallic tweeds, ruffles, beaded fur—the clothes were just as ornate as their inspiration might imply, and often as heavy.

There were some moments of lightness. Mesh panels on cap sleeves and midriffs gave the gilding space to breathe. But all that OTT luxury found a home in Roland's finale gowns. It was there in the 100-plus buttons spiraling around the body, sternum to thigh, on one forest green silk crepe gown, unbuttoning to a just-so point. And there was real Hollywood vamp potential in a strapless red gown cut to trace the model's every curve.

There are a number of designers at New York fashion week sharing Roland's niche—clothes for fantasy occasions rather than the everyday. Roland's points of difference are the dark glamour of her designs and a good-from-all-angles approach. If she keeps playing to these strengths in the wake of her triple credit at the Golden Globes, we can expect to see more of her gowns at red-carpet events to come.