Today's lovely Vera Wang show made it clear why Kohl's courted the designer for two years and why she's poised to succeed in translating her vision to the moderate-priced clothes she'll design for its hundreds of department stores. Over the last few seasons Wang has expertly refined her signatures. You know a Vera jacket when you see it: the subtle sheen of the silk faille; the short, elbow-length sleeves; the blossoming volume below the bust; the rosette attached with offhand insouciance. She's a brand where other designers are collections of borrowed ideas.

That's not to say that she didn't evolve for spring. There was a new balletic quality to the clothes that went beyond the pink rehearsal bar at the entrance to the runway. She played with transparency, a big spring motif, by encasing the lower half of a dress in a bubble of tulle, shrouding a sequined camisole with net, and showing cropped chiffon pants under tunics. She also worked layers, tweaking, for instance, dressed-up gold brocade by tossing a black cotton chemise over it.

But what was really interesting was the way she brought her own simple style of dressing to bear on the proceedings. Wang loves a legging and a big sweater. Today she showed fine-gauge cardigans covetable in their cool simplicity and skinny pants that added a casual element the collection formerly lacked. Practice for the Very Vera line that hits Kohl's a year from now? Yes or no, it all looked beautiful.