Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra are anachronisms— witness the lumberjack shirts, the suspenders, the beards, and, since May, the matching "JCRT" anchor tattoos. But it goes beyond their appearance. The Brooklyn-based duo—CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists for the second year in a row—are among the few contemporary designers who, whither the wind blows, remain true to their vision. Trapeze dresses? You won't find them on this runway. Instead, they reworked their signature slim draped jersey dresses in earthy Aubrey Beardsley tones. And in a subtle nod to Halston's Studio 54 days, added a few sexy one-shoulder looks to the mix of more demure wrap, Empire, and cinched waist styles.

New for spring were the embroideries. Gold bugle beads traced the neckline of a tomato red number with geometric precision, and a smattering of pearls decorated the bodice of a white gold frock, as well as a ribbon necklace worn with a purple V-neck dress. They also experimented with luxe wovens like griege and metallic moiré, sewing them into a short-sleeve jacket, narrow pants, or a standup-collar coat gathered at the waist. All three pieces were nice enough additions—timeless and refined—but it's when they work with the fluid jersey that these designers really shine. It may not make for the splashiest runway experience of the week, but it's nice to see a label playing to its strengths.