"I am who I am, it's hard to change that much," Rachel Zoe said backstage. "Still, with this collection I've changed the most." And so she did. Not her personal style, mind you—Zoe is still the polished L.A. boho she was before she became a household name. And she wore a faux fur from her label to prove it. On the runway, though, Zoe went for what she called an "English/seventies/equestrian" vibe, and the change was a positive development. It gave her the opportunity to show some clever tailoring. The three-piece suits, in particular, were a fresh look for her price range, and a pair of navy jodhpurs and a matching shearling-collar bomber seemed to have a new sense of polish. Maybe she's been working on her fits. It helped that she scaled way, way back on the accessories.

Zoe paid special attention to outerwear. An oversize checked plaid looked good on both a double-breasted coat and a toggle-front trench. Other pieces—a ponyhair sweatshirt, baggy leather pants, sweaters with sequin sleeves—looked like the requirements of doing business in the contemporary market in 2013. In other words, everybody's doing them. But all in all, Zoe stepped it up here.