Anne Klein designer Charles Nolan faces a tricky fashion dilemma: how to take a venerable, commercially powerful name and give it a new lease on life, without alienating a faithful clientele.

For spring, Nolan rose to the challenge by adding a touch of tough chic to the sportswear classics for which the label is known. Skintight trousers were paired with generous deerskin motorcycle jackets, while pencil skirts and short shorts came with neat cotton blouses or soft jersey tops. He kept the fabrics lightweight—parachute silk, crisp cotton, seersucker, taffeta—and the color palette predominantly white, khaki, toffee, gray and black, with shots of red and pink. The handkerchief-point hem has embedded itself deeply into spring's collections, and Nolan showed his own version, using striped fabrics in bias-cut skirts that just grazed the knee.

Sportswear is all about easy comfort, and, as far as Nolan is concerned, that notion extends to evening as well: He sent out tiny jersey dresses paved with coin-size paillettes and rhinestone-studded sweatshirts that were simultaneously soft and sparkly.