Sci-fi futurism has hijacked the good sense of many a designer this season, but Costume National's Ennio Capasa managed to avoid that trap. Though he showed his fair share of metallics and holograms, he came up with a concise collection that was more jet set than space-age chic. His strong suits have always been a sense of realism and an awareness of what's sexy, and for spring he concentrated on the silhouettes in which he's always specialized—the sleek, sharp pantsuit (this time with an elevated waist), the abbreviated cocktail dress, the trench. Foundation established, he then added a silver leather belt, say, or harness detailing as reflective as high-polished chrome.

Beyond the great outerwear—from a streamlined cream cape to an uncomplicated silver leather trench—there were some evening missteps, though. A sheer, hooded gown with slits up the side, for example, might've been killer in a knit jersey, but as it was, it could never walk off the runway. His cone-heeled slingbacks, meanwhile, came a little too close for comfort to those that appeared on the YSL runway a year ago. Overall, though, this show had more of that familiar Costume National edge than his last couple of outings.