In the audience to witness Michael Vollbracht show what was by far his most accomplished collection for Bill Blass were fans like Sigourney Weaver, Liza Minnelli, and Janet Jackson. Not only were the spring clothes eminently wearable—for both the loyal customer and a younger one—but they also respected the tradition of the house. "To thine own self be true—and to Bill Blass," Vollbracht quipped.

The designer looked for truth in his materials, which for spring included matte jersey, linen, and organza. "The fabrics rule, and I let the cut do the rest," he explained. The result? Neat, fresh looks for day, like sandy-colored jersey suits and dresses (paired with snazzy patent-and-steel shoes from the house's new collection). White-on-white dresses featured intricate embroidery, as did some of the gala evening numbers, including one that was embellished with feathers. The jersey story continued. Stand-outs included columnar raspberry and lavender gowns with open backs that looked modern and that expressed, as the collection did overall, a strong vision of American chic.