If the soundtrack of a show is any insight into a designer's state of mind, Badgley Mischka are feeling reflective. The duo, who've made their name by putting a modern spin on traditional glamour, opened their spring collection with Patti Smith's Dancing Barefoot, a beautiful but pensive ballad about letting go.

That mood translated into a toning down of Badgley Mischka's pile-it-on beads and baubles approach, making way instead for pastels, muted paisley prints, trailing handkerchief hems, whisper-light chiffons and lots of lace. There was also a new edge to the collection, by way of some short, flirty dresses and sexy blouses paired with skinny white pants. The models, with their mussed hair and mod clear-Lucite heels, looked softer and more approachable than last season's sirens.

That's not to say Badgley Mischka are stepping away from the sparkle and sex appeal that have made them famous—especially with another red carpet looming this Sunday at the Emmys. There were clingy, curvy, photo-op dresses aplenty (a good thing, with Sex and the City's Kristin Davis in the front row). But with this collection, the designers definitely steered a new course by shedding some unnecessary glitz. And that's never a bad thing to let go of.