Molecular gastronomy seemed an unlikely starting point for Lela Rose's perennially pretty dresses and ladylike separates, but this season's journey began at Ferran Adrià's El Bulli—Rose visited the restaurant before it closed back in 2011. Fast-forward three years, and the designer reinterpreted Adrià's quivering spheres of who-knows-what into a beautiful, bubbly stacked-pearl trim that made skirts and peplums swing.

Many of the models walked apprehensively (and one—in a glowing magenta gown with a sweetheart neckline and very full skirt—took a spill), but when Marihenny Pasible hit the runway in an ivory silk blouse with a thick lace hem and pencil skirt to match, she strode with confidence. Maybe it was the blouse's boxy cut that gave this look some swagger; Rose's dressier separates this season—many T-shirt-style silhouettes trimmed in pearls, lace, and feathers—were especially strong. An early group of navy mohair and gray wool pieces may have been a nod to the season, but they left us a little cold. It's true that the citrine grid-embroidered organza shell and matching full skirt that followed weren't exactly autumn-appropriate, but like many of the show's best pieces, they can be adapted. (Or better yet, worn where it's warm.) A black, body-skimming skirt of silvery lace will look chic with a sweater, and even the gowns this season were somewhat convertible, thanks to pieces like a cropped tulle T-shirt that can be layered on top.

Backstage after the show, Rose gushed about her recent dinner party, at which Adrià was the guest of honor. "Truly my dream come true," said the designer. So what does one wear for such an affair? "I actually wore Look 24."