Mark Badgley and James Mischka washed Fall in gold. Inspired by turn-of-the century Vienna, in particular artist Gustav Klimt and architect Josef Hoffmann, the Badgley Mischka collection was a study in the effect, whether on a bodice hand-beaded with rectangle paillettes and ruby gems, or a tweed wool shift with a metallic glaze. An almost-weightless metallic floral brocade made a beautiful ball gown, while a leopard print on a wool "nod to the power suit" was dulled down to contrast with the otherwise opulent materials.

The richness was framed, smartly, in fifties silhouettes. "We were interested in the artists, but not the fashions, of that time, so we thought of Dior and Balenciaga from the mid-century instead," explained Badgley at his studio the day before the show. He and Mischka certainly know how to make an Oscar-worthy gown—see the pink, ruffled-collar column done in shimmering snowflake tulle for proof —but they have often struggled with day. However, this season's voluminous shapes, such as a black cape coat in a waffle-weave wool, gave the before-6 p.m. pieces some spirit.