Somebody up there likes Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne. The latest oil in their unstoppable engine is a $300,000 contribution from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. It's kind of ironic that the two who value their anonymity to the point where they gave their label the resolutely faceless name Public School should now be spotlight kids, but the statement they're making is confident and distinctive enough in its New York context that it was probably inevitable they would become such hometown heroes. Public School is the locus of a scene, and if the reaction to today's show was any indication, it's a scene that a lot of people want to be part of.

Which means it was a very clever move on Dao and Max's part to widen their repertoire with womenswear. It was easy, they said. They didn't want to create a girlfriend for the Public School boy. What they had in mind was a tomboy counterpart. So the same big ideas were tweaked for men and women: a herringbone topcoat, say, or a quilted jacket with a shearling hood. The multilayered tailoring that is a PS signature was applied to both genders. So were the capes and broad-brimmed hats—not Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers, Dao insisted, but New Pioneers.

It was a romantic notion, despite the designers' insistence that the relationship between their boys and girls was purely platonic. And it wasn't the only touch of poetry in the collection. New York City is their muse, and a motocross jacket cut from tweed, a pair of track pants in ombré-ed houndstooth, and a parka in a mossy, glossy twill were all strikingly sartorial revisions of urban classics. But PS's secret weapon in this collection might have been the Japanese influence: the kimono closing on a suit jacket, for instance, or the cape layered over a tunic over a white cotton shirt dress like a Tokyo Super-Schoolgirl. The harnesses, the holsters…the styling and attitude smacked of Japanese cult favorites like Visvim and White Mountaineering. In the grand scheme of things, that's excellent company for Public School to be keeping.