For Spring 2004, Behnaz Sarafpour jettisoned the sotto voce sweetness of her ladylike Fall line and replaced it with an aggressively sexy stance—a change in direction so dramatic, it might provoke a few cases of fashion whiplash.

The opening look set the tone: Karolina Kurkova striding out in high heels, a tight topknot, and a short, snug, strapless black dress made from rib knit and patent leather. Sarafpour followed with more of the same, featuring pencil skirts with patent panels; skintight pants; and black blouson jackets cut to hit just below the ribs, all layered over knit tops. She wrapped satin bustiers over dresses and rib-knit tanks, and made short trench coats from slick white or black patent.

This designer has a witty sense of proportion, which showed up in pieces like the black satin camisole with a loose, loopy bow; the tiny boleros encrusted with big sequins; and the cheerfully chic, oversize gingham taffeta blouses. But when a lovely, body-skimming pink satin dress appeared on the runway, it seemed to have wandered in from a different collection entirely.