Right from the start, the Timo Weiland girl has been all sugar 'n' spice and everything nice. But now, apparently, she's developed an attitude problem. That's very good news—this collection benefited from its fresh sense of toughness. The first look established the change in tone: Today's show opened with a shrugged-on, mannish coat with oversize shearling lapels that suggested that the girl wearing it would sooner kick you in the shins than be accused of being "twee." Same goes for her friend in the quilted biker jacket, and the one in the hooded black leather bomber. Pretty much all the outerwear had that welcome hint of snarl.

Not all the looks were quite as bare-knuckle, but even when designers Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein were working in a more refined vein, they tended to keep the looks sharp and un-girlish. To wit, a lean suit of navy windowpane check and the slouchy gray marl sweater worn with a foulard-print pencil skirt. Even a look as overtly femme as a khaki minidress with exaggerated godet pleats conveyed grown-up, can't-be-fussed confidence. Not everything here worked as well; the wallpaper jacquards were a bit off, for example. But the weaknesses were made up for by the terrific show-closing look, a one-shoulder cocktail dress in navy satin that had some serious bite.

Speaking after the show, Weiland and Eckstein said that they had been inspired by English Tudor houses, and imagining hip East London girls heading to the country for the weekend. As they went on to acknowledge, though, those references were refracted, as they inevitably had to be, through their ur-New York sensibility. Somehow, all of that added up to a kind of '90s-era X-Girl vibe—there was the same mix of grunge and polish. If the trousers had been boot-leg cut, the effect would have been complete.