When As Four first stormed the scene, it was hard to know what to make of this engaging gaggle of designers, with their spiral-leg trousers and fondness for lamé. With their spring collection, though, they showed more maturity than ever.

Their aim, designer Gabi said, was to be "generous—to open things up." This show accomplished that, despite its excessive length. There was also plenty of humor, as seen in the "gotahaveballs" pieces—one example being a dress suspended from a necklace of charmeuse-wrapped balls. They even attacked the tank top to elegant effect—showing it as a big floaty circle in white jersey, worn with shorts, or as an easy top in nude silk charmeuse, with a trailing train of flowers. Ditto bathing suits and drop-dead dresses that could be worn as easily by an offbeat starlet like Christina Ricci as by a member of As Four's eccentric style tribe.

What was most striking about the collection was the American feeling to it all. Their "bowraptinis" (read: rompers) were in the tradition of sportswear pioneer Claire McCardell, and Giorgio Sant'Angelo would have approved of their tunics. "We wanted to celebrate the easiness and movement of American dressing while keeping our identity," Gabi said. Mission accomplished.