A wall of nearly naked, whitewashed men served as the backdrop for John Bartlett's runway show, which updated last season's leitmotif of ladylike dressing with a freer, less rigid approach. Kimono shapes have always been important to Bartlett, and in this case they showed up on silk jersey and cotton crepe sleeveless tops, sexy chiffon dresses and even on a "reverse" iron-gray suede dress that Alek Wek wore. There were also several well-cut trousers and a couple of perfect white shirts, as well as a striking wool smoking and a sleeveless, asymmetric talcum-colored leather shift.

The liner notes for Bartlett's show explained that rope was his inspiration this season—"erotic, sacred, tightening the knot that frees our duality." Indeed, many looks were accessorized with cords, ranging from a military-inspired sash on Shalom, to a golden knot peeking out from under Angela Lindvall's black jacket. But, ultimately, it was unclear what exactly Bartlett sought to convey—the clothes were cleverly styled, but lacked a powerful message.