Nicole Noselli and Daphne Gutierrez, who make up the design team Bruce, snapped up this year's Perry Ellis Award for womenswear, and with good reason. The duo consistently produces quietly intelligent, sophisticated clothes whose apparent simplicity betrays an almost compulsive attention to detail.

Noselli and Gutierrez worked with a muted chromatic range (white, black, khaki and brick were the only colors in the collection), relying on clean, perfectly proportioned lines for effect. A pristine tab-collar cotton shirtdress was stark and immaculate, except for a copper cincture at the waist and minute pin-tucks that decorated the sleeves; dresses gently skimmed the body, shaped only by deftly applied tucks and folds. A triple layer of pleats ran across the shoulders of a prim cap-sleeve shirt; an off-kilter skirt looked perfect with an intricately constructed, asymmetric sleeveless top.

"We wanted to work with pleating, like last season, but presenting a looser, more comfortable silhouette," said Noselli after the show.