Brandon Sun, the young furrier, was eager to take things up a notch for Fall, hosting his first-ever runway show. His muse was the heroine of the Norwegian fairy tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, who grows stronger with every trial and tribulation. "No matter what happened to her, she was able to rise above it," said Sun last week at his studio in Manhattan's tiny fur district. His challenge was to show what he could do with fur beyond the obvious, but also to present ready-to-wear that his outerwear client would be just as excited about.

To do that, the designer looked to Kay Nielsen's Art Nouveau illustrations from East of the Sun, which inspired the narrow, high-slit skirtsuit in metallic floral jacquard and the shoulder-baring dress in a weightless gold brocade. He was also inspired by the markings of the African Ndebele tribe, interpreted best on a tank and skirt pieced together with thin strips of leather in navy, burgundy, and white.

Sun played with fur in a new way too. He used tiny mink puffs as polka dots on a sexy sheer blouse and on a sheer insert on the slit of a gray flannel dress. But those were novelties—the strongest stuff had yet to come. As part of the Swarovski Collective, he was required to incorporate crystals into the collection, and he did so by insetting them into hand-cut Blackglama mink. It looked right, not forced, and showed off his skill. But the showpiece was undoubtedly the sheared mink and tweed coat, trimmed in mink and chinchilla. It was glamorous and modern, which seemed to be the look Sun was going for, sweeping references aside.