Philosophy, Alberta Ferretti's junior line, is known for its ethereal, delicate dresses. This season, however, Ferretti imbued her lightweight frocks with a decidedly street-tough edge.

Not that there was any shortage of Ferretti's signature embellishments: In fact, practically every look seemed awash in pleats and ruffles. But the designer cut her smocks and skirts extra wide, employed neutral colors, and styled them with Mad Max verve. (Ferretti's models usually waft onto the runway; this time, they stomped in and out at breakneck speed.) Unfinished tops peeked out from cropped, ribbed cardigans; laser-cut details spruced up long, casual skirts. A frayed, pleated pale rose dress with an asymmetric hem could be just the thing a young urban warrior would want to throw on to combat a summer heat wave.

For those in search of a practical dress with plenty of attitude, Philosophy is certainly one place to turn.