Anne Valérie Hash has come a long way for a young independent. She now has two collections: ready-to-wear, which debuted as a separate entity on the runway last October, and couture, which she showed today. And for Spring, she made enough of a distinction between the two lines to clear up any lingering confusion. Hash took sheer fabrics as her theme—a tricky motif to deal with, if you want to make viable clothes rather than runway statements. She did it cleverly, though, by employing intricately layered and pleated techniques, and strategically placed zones of beading to obviate any glaring transparency issues.

A pretty skirtsuit in ivory silk tulle with multidirectional pleating and puffed sleeves made an impressive start. She followed that with a nude organza blouse with a white beaded bib, and a pantsuit in a diagonal black-and-silver check, the pattern of which had been sewn rather than printed. For those—and for picking up on the current trend for geometric construction (say, sheer box sleeves)—she wins respect in the demanding milieu of haute couture craftsmanship. If it wasn't perfect—the continuity didn't quite hold up when she got to evening—this young woman has taken a bold stride toward proving she can wield a pair of scissors with some finesse.