Christian Siriano doesn't typically have a specific muse for his collection, but this season he just couldn't get photographs of Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn—taken by both of her husbands, Fernand Fonssagrives and Irving Penn—out of his mind. "A friend sent me a photo of Lisa taken by Fernand, and I loved the way he created texture with light and shadow," Siriano said backstage before the show. "She was his muse, and ours as well."

The collection was certainly an homage to the mid-century model, right down to the Heather Huey-designed hats. The silhouettes were couture-inspired and looked as if they were plucked right from one of Penn's photos, whether it was a wide, shawl-neck coat in silk faille or a royal purple alpaca coat shaped by rounded shoulders and paired with matching trousers.

While Siriano didn't stretch far enough beyond his initial reference, it was hard not to like the clothes. An eveningwear designer first and foremost, he offered some beautiful options: specifically a swirling strapless ball gown—which was voluminous without looking fussy—and a black embroidered organza coat with petal-like white feathers. But he's working hard on day, too, and executed it better than in past seasons. "I still want her to looked dressed," he said of the oversize eyelet tops and tea-length skirts. Even if evening remains the crux of Siriano's business, it's good to see that he's thinking about the big picture.