Because Tod's is a luxury goods house, Alessandra Facchinetti naturally has a lot of leather at her disposal. She made good use of it at her Spring debut last season, but working on Fall gave her the chance to really dig into it. Of the thirty or so looks on her runway today, more than half were made of leather, and it's a credit to her hard work that there was as a lot of diversity among those pieces. The point, she said afterward, was to find ways to treat it less like a skin and more like a fabric. Not as simple as it sounds, but Facchinetti gave it a serious go.

There was outerwear, of course: a crinkly black patent peacoat with a stand-up collar lined in white mink; a loosely cut trench in lavender bonded leather; a creamy cape coat with a thin, almost papery quality. Each striking in its own way. Papery or not, leather is more recalcitrant than silk or even cotton. Of the two shirtdresses the designer whipped together from the stuff, the one with the laser-cutting around the neckline was the more successful. The laser tracery gave it a breezy airiness that the other one, with exterior pockets and "futuristic" ruffles around the shoulders, could have used more of.

Rounding out the collection and giving it some depth were two graphic motifs: a windowpane check and a lozenge pattern Facchinetti lifted from carpets, which was most impressive supersized on a leather poncho, the pattern inlaid like mosaic.