At first, something different seemed to be in the air at Jill Stuart this season. Nicky Hilton in the front row. Stuart taking her bow with Bijou Phillips. And an essentially one-song soundtrack—that rocker classic "Stairway to Heaven." But all those hints didn't really lead to any big surprises. The show featured long-haired girls in vintage-looking dresses cut in thirties silhouettes, body-hugging jackets (this season paired with bloomer-style shorts), and wonderful bathing suits with a forties flair.

Each season, Stuart plays with embellishment and accessories to update her shapes. She was on trend with her use of smocking and pleats, wooden wedges, and groovy belts worn at the natural waistline, but her decorative motifs—running from metal studs to a star-printed fabric, to Carmen Miranda fruit charms, to appliquéd pieced-cotton flowers on denim and chiffon—were less focused. The strongest pieces, as usual, were her dresses, like a belted polka dot number with a keyhole neckline. And putting chiffon dresses over lamé bathing suits is a clever way to deal with transparency, as well as the right thing to wear to a pool party.